Trade war panned as China buys more U.S. soy
Two outspoken Kansans scored the trade war with China as needlessly disruptive, with Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts comparing it to the five-week partial government shutdown and economist Barry Flinchbaugh urging Congress to curtail President Trump’s power to impose tariffs.
Early release of SNAP benefits for March is possible, says Perdue
The Trump administration used a legislative loophole to issue February SNAP benefits in advance during the partial federal shutdown.
Trump asks Congress to pass trade deal with Canada, Mexico
After calling NAFTA an historic trade blunder, President Trump called on Congress on Tuesday to pass its successor, saying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would expand American agriculture.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
USDA economists may unionize (Government Executive): Employees of USDA’s Economic Research Service could vote in June on a proposal to join the largest federal employees union in order to protect themselves in the proposed relocation of the agency outside of Washington.
House Ag calls first meeting (House Agriculture Committee): Chairman Collin Peterson scheduled an organizational meeting of the House Agriculture Committee for Thursday, the first meeting of the committee since Democrats took control of the House.
Senate panel backs Wheeler for EPA (Senate Environment Committee): On a party-line vote, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee cleared for a vote by the full Senate the nomination of Andrew Wheeler for EPA administrator; he has been acting administrator since Scott Pruitt resigned last year.
Butterflies vs. border wall (San Antonio Express-News): Earth-moving equipment arrived at the National Butterfly Center at Mission, in southeastern Texas, a sign of imminent work on the border wall that will slice through the protected habitat.
Women hold more ag commissioner posts (Politico): A record 13 women have been elected or appointed to lead state agriculture departments, up from the previous mark of 10, with five posts yet to be filled.
A lot of slow-speed internet in rural America (Daily Yonder): Rural Americans are far more likely than city residents to have internet download speeds slower than 25 megabits per second; nearly 90 percent of users in the most remote counties with the lowest populations lack that level of broadband speed.