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Congress

(Daily News)
July 08, 2008

Finance Committee Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) is targeting July 23 for the markup of compromise Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation even while he continues to negotiate the contents of that bill with Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), a Finance committee aide said today (July 8).


(Daily News)
June 24, 2008

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Ralph Basham today (June 24) told the Senate Finance Committee CBP is shelving its proposal to eliminate the “first-sale rule” for customs valuation until at least January 2011, abiding by a sense of Congress provision in the newly enacted 2007 farm bill urging this delay.


(Daily News)
June 18, 2008

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a long-awaited finding with U.S.-European Union trade implications, has found that the Air Force improperly awarded a $35 billion contract for an aerial refueling tanker this year to Northrop Grumman and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Agency (EADS), the parent of Airbus.


(Daily News)
June 18, 2008

The Senate Finance Committee today (June 18) by voice vote approved Deanna Tanner Okun to be deputy U.S. trade representative, responsible for trade agreements with Asia such as the embattled U.S.-Korea free trade agreement.


(Daily News)
May 09, 2008

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer today (May 9) vowed that the administration will fight efforts to override the certain veto of the farm bill by President Bush and accused House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) of misreading White House intentions. Schafer singled out Goodlatte's comment yesterday that President Bush understands members have to vote on the farm bill in the interest of their districts.


(Daily News)
May 07, 2008

Principal farm bill negotiators have announced an agreement on a final 2007 farm bill that they hope will be approved by the majority of the conferees and then proceed to the House and Senate for a final vote.


(Daily News)
May 06, 2008

The House Ways and Means Committee staff is preparing a broad trade enforcement bill that is likely to include measures relevant for U.S.-China trade, but is unlikely to include a provision on China currency, according to Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY).


(Daily News)
May 06, 2008

The Bush administration is now fully engaged with Senate Finance committee staff in developing legislation to expand and extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program in the hope of reaching substantive agreement by the end of May, according to informed sources.


(Daily News)
May 06, 2008

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), a supporter of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, today (May 6) criticized President Bush for his failure to negotiate with House Democrats on the extension of unemployment insurance the leadership is seeking because it could have provided members “cover” to vote for the FTA.


(Daily News)
May 06, 2008

A group of key House and Senate conferees on the farm bill today (May 6) kicked off closed-door negotiations that they hope will resolve all nine outstanding issues by the end of the day.


(Daily News)
May 02, 2008

A May 1 farm bill conference meeting made more progress toward a final bill by essentially resolving the objections raised by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and other members to the inclusion of an apparel trade preference program for Haiti.


(Daily News)
May 02, 2008

President Bush this week reiterated objections to the farm bill sugar provisions that would increase the target price, lock in the right of U.S. producers to supply 85 percent of the market and obligate the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy surplus sugar for use in ethanol production, according to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN).


(Daily News)
May 01, 2008

Principal conferees this week wrestled with the details of a farm bill package that they believed could pass Congress and be signed by President Bush, while the administration clearly signaled it is less interested in negotiating a compromise than extending the current farm bill.


(Daily News)
April 30, 2008

The principal conferees last night (April 29) announced they had reached agreement on a 2007 farm bill that includes reforms to address White House demands, according to a spokeswoman for the Senate Agriculture Committee. The House and Senate chairmen of the agriculture committees are now vetting these proposals with the conferees on their side, and a formal conference meeting could take place this afternoon, she said.


(Daily News)
April 29, 2008

The tentative farm bill deal that has been struck by principal members of the House and Senate includes an extension of two trade preference programs at the behest of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), according to informed sources.


(Daily News)
April 29, 2008

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said today (April 29) that the only way the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement can be passed this year is for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to schedule a vote before the November elections, ruling out the idea it can be passed in a lame-duck session after the elections.


(Daily News)
April 29, 2008

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today (April 29) offered sharply opposed views on the likelihood that Congress can develop a final 2007 farm bill that President Bush would sign. They spoke after attending a closed-door session of a small group of farm bill conferees.


(Daily News)
April 24, 2008

The House and Senate today (April 24) passed a one-week extension of the 2002 farm bill by unanimous consent in the Senate and voice vote in the House amid indications that conferees will be able to break their month-long deadlock on funding for a new farm bill.


(Daily News)
April 23, 2008

As conferees worked on a funding package for the farm bill today, the Senate is trying to pass a one-week extension of the farm bill from April 25 to May 2 as early as tonight. The Senate has to pass the extension today or tomorrow since the Senate is unlikely to hold any votes on April 25, and an extension would also have to be approved in the House, which is not in session that day.


(Daily News)
April 21, 2008

The House Ways and Means trade subcommittee announced late Friday (April 18) that bills eliminating the controversial 2006 abundant supply provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and eliminating tariffs on most types of footwear will be bundled into this year's Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).


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