The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens
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Bertini: Food aid to North Korea would help relationship

The United States should provide food aid to North Korea as part of an effort to build a new relationship with that country after the death of its longtime leader, a former U.N. World Food Program executive director said today. Read More...

USDA grants $4 million for beef promotion in Korea

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., achieved a major victory when the Agriculture Department made a $4 million grant to promote the sale of American beef in Korea this year. Read More...

Obama signs free trade agreements, preferences, TAA

President Barack Obama today signed the bills approving the implementation of free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, as well as a bill extending the generalized system of preferences program through July 31, 2013, and reauthorizing the trade adjustment assistance program through Dec. 31, 2013. Read More...

Obama to sign free trade agreements, TAA on Friday

President Barack Obama will sign the Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements and the renewal of trade adjustment assistance workers and farmers hurt by trade on Friday, the White House announced today. Read More...

Baucus, Brady, Merrigan celebrate trade agreements

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan all celebrated the congressional approval of the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama on Friday. Read More...

Free trade agreements easily pass Senate, House

The three trade agreements passed the Senate with solid majorities Wednesday evening, following House passage. Read More...

National Cattlemen's president gets White House invite

When President Obama welcomed South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for a state visit early today and celebrated the congressional approval of the Korea, Colombia and Panama free trade agreements, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bill Donald was among the invited guests at the arrival ceremony. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman were among the guests at tonight’s state dinner. Read More...

House passes FTAs; Senate approval expected shortly

The House of Representatives passed the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama tonight, while the Senate is expected to approve the agreements later this evening. Read More...

FTAs head for votes after Senate Finance approves agreements, nominees

The House and the Senate are expected to vote Wednesday on bills to implement the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. Read More...

Baucus schedules session on trade agreements, nominations

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., will hold a markup session Tuesday on the pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, and to vote on four nominations President Barack Obama has made for positions that require Senate confirmation. Read More...

Ways and Means approves trade agreements

The House Ways and Means Committee today approved the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, clearing them for floor action, Ways and Means trade subcommittee chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said late this afternoon. Read More...

Free trade agreements head to markup as supporters urge quick passage

The Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee will hold a markup Wednesday on the Korea, Colombia and Panama free trade agreements that President Barack Obama submitted to Congress on Monday for approval, but two key Democrats on the committee say they will oppose the Colombia agreement. Read More...

Obama sends free trade agreements to Congress

President Barack Obama today submitted the pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress for approval. The president’s submission of the agreements is a signal that the administration has confidence that the House will approve trade adjustment assistance (TAA) for workers and farmers hurt by free trade. The Senate has already passed TAA. Read More...

Boehner: No House action on Senate TAA bill until free-trade pacts sent to Congress

The Senate today paved the way for congressional consideration of the pending free-trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama by passing a bill that extends trade adjustment assistance for workers and farmers hurt by international trade. But House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House will not take up the trade adjustment bill until President Barack Obama formally sends the agreements to Congress for consideration. Read More...

White House still hoping for FTAs before recess

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told agriculture leaders today that the Obama administration hopes Congress will approve the three pending free trade agreements and reauthorize trade adjustment assistance before the August recess. Read More...

Hatch calls on leadership to resolve FTA differences

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, today urged House and Senate leaders to resolve Korean trade agreement differences in versions passed in “mock markups” by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee. Read More...

Senate Finance, House Ways and Means move FTAs forward

In “mock markups” to advise the Obama administration on implementing legislation, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee today approved the Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements without amendments, and Senate Finance also approved an extension of trade adjustment assistance for workers and farmers who have been hurt by trade agreements. Read More...

Ways and Means schedules FTA 'mock markup'

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has scheduled a “mock markup” on implementing legislation for the pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama, on Thursday but the conflicts between Democrats and Repbublicans on how to handle the issue of trade adjustment assistance for workers and farmers hurt by trade agreements appears to be continuing. Read More...

Farm Bureau, NFTC blast inaction on FTAs

Reacting to Senate Finance Committee Republicans boycotting a markup of implementing legislation for the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and renewal of trade adjustment assistance, American Farm Bureau Federation trade lobbyist Chris Garza said Friday that Congress should stop playing politics, and National Foreign Trade Council President Bill Reinsch said that Republicans were inadvertently helping labor unions that want to stop the agreements. Read More...

TAA gets ag industry support as Senate Finance heads to 'mock markup'

As a Senate Finance Committee “mock markup” of implementation legislation for the Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements approaches this afternoon, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Feed Industry Association have endorsed a plan to seek congressional approval of the agreements and reauthorization of trade adjustment authority (TAA) for workers hurt by imports, even as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and some Senate Republicans continue to spar over the inclusion of TAA in the package. Read More...

Free trade deal, including TAA, not fully embraced by GOP

Farm and business groups have begun pushing for congressional approval of the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, even though House Republican leaders and conservative groups are still expressing some concerns about the deal with congressional Republicans that the White House announced Tuesday. Read More...

Baucus backs trade adjustment assistance with trade pacts

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., told a meat export group today that the pending trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia must be passed together with trade adjustment assistance for American workers, and then proceeded to a lengthy and somewhat unexpected discussion of the 2012 farm bill. Read More...

Farm leaders consider supporting TAA to get free trade agreements passed

If Congress needs to take up trade adjustment assistance for American workers to pass the free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, members should do it, five farm leaders said Tuesday. Read More...

Governors back trade agreements, adjustment assistance

Congress should pass the South Korean, Colombian and Panamanian free trade agreements and reauthorize trade adjustment assistance for American workers, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 20 states and two territories wrote congressional leaders on Monday. Read More...

Obama to push all three trade agreements

The Obama administration is moving forward to gain congressional approval of the three pending trade agreements, expects Congress to renew trade adjustment assistance for workers who have lost jobs due to free trade, and has granted $1 million to the U.S. Meat Export Federation to encourage meat exports to Korea, according to a memo from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today. Read More...

Trade pact approval talks have begun

Obama administration officials have begun discussions with congressional leaders on how to gain approval of the three pending free trade agreements — Korea, Colombia and Panama — as well as achieve the administration’s other trade goals, senior officials told reporters in a conference call today. Read More...

Korea, other pacts may wait for other trade goals

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said today that the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement is “ready to go,” but also made it clear that the Obama administration wants to advance it in the context of other trade goals. Read More...

Rep. Levin: Send Korean trade pact to Congress

The Obama administration should send the Korean-U.S. free trade agreement to Congress for approval even if the Republicans do not agree in advance to support it, House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., said today, adding that Congress should approve it before Memorial Day. Read More...

Farmers Union backs off blast at USTR over Korea pact

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said that the organization’s decision to oppose the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement was based primarily on its longstanding views, rather than the failure of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to send a speaker to its convention this week in San Antonio, but a USTR spokeswoman said that USTR regretted any confusion surrounding Farmers Union’s request for a speaker. Read More...

Farmers Union votes against Korea pact after USTR snub

SAN ANTONIO — The National Farmers Union has voted to oppose the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, partly because the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not send an official to their convention here to discuss trade, Farmers Union President Roger Johnson told The Hagstrom Report. Read More...

Discord continues over Korean trade agreement timing

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today urged Congress to ratify the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement soon rather than wait for the Colombian and Panamanian agreements to be submitted, even though Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Senate Finance ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Wednesday that all three trade agreements should be submitted at once. Read More...

Vilsack urges ratification of U.S.-Korea trade agreement

Citing the importance of a free trade pact with Korea, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is urging Congress to ratify the U.S.-Korea agreement before July 1, when a European Union-Korean free trade agreement goes into effect. Read More...

Vilsack, Lucas agree, disagree on trade

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that the Obama administration will send Congress the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement shortly and urged quick approval, but House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, D-Okla., said the White House should send the free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia at the same time. Read More...

Vilsack, Baucus spar over Korean trade agreement

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., exchanged words today over the proposed Korea-U.S. free trade agreement. Read More...