Washington, D.C. Update

May 3, 2024
On Tuesday, USRPA board member and immediate past chairman Alex Clark testified at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) hearing for its investigation "Rice: Global Competitiveness and Impacts on Trade and the U.S. Industry." In February, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith requested that the USITC conduct an investigation regarding the global competitiveness of U.S. rice, following up on a previous investigation from 2015.   During the hearing on Tuesday, Clark gave the Commission insight into the U.S. rough rice market and noted the unfair trade practices in other countries that harm the U.S. producer.   "When countries like China and India produce rice in these quantities, and then manipulate their government policies, domestic markets, import, and export policies it not only forecloses market opportunities for U.S. rice exports, but also can cause disruptions in global markets. The impacts of these policies can threaten our market position in our traditional Western Hemisphere markets and drive down prices paid to U.S. farmers at the farm gate," he said.   Read Clark's full submitted testimony here.   House and Senate Agriculture Committees Release Information on Farm Bill Proposals This Wednesday, both House Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) released background information on their respective farm bill proposals. Chairman Thompson released a title-by-title overview of his proposal. This proposal would increase support for producers by improving ARC and PLC as well as allowing for base acre updates within the two programs. It would also convert the Inflation Reduction Act’s funding into a farm bill baseline to increase funding for conservation programs. The proposal would also increase funding for MAP and FMD. He also announced that the House Agriculture Committee would markup a bill on May 23. He is expected to release more in-depth information on the proposals’ contents in the coming weeks. In the Senate, Chairwoman Stabenow unveiled the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act. She released an overall summary, a section-by-section breakdown, and summaries for each title but did not release bill text. For rice, her proposal would increase the reference price by 5%. It includes $200 million for MAP and $34.5 million for FMD. More information on Chairman Thompson’s proposal can be found here and on Chairwoman Stabenow’s proposal can be found here.
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