WOTUS Rewrite Moves Forward; NAFTA Needs Quick Action
**The Trump administration’s effort to write new “waters of the U.S.” regulations took a big step forward last week with publication of a proposed rule to withdraw the Obama administration’s 2015 rule.
The proposal has been held up for a month due to issues with the formatting of the document.
With that behind them, interested parties will now have an opportunity to comment on the proposal’s substance.
**Speed is of the essence when it comes to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a panel of witnesses before the House Ag Committee.
That’s because the uncertainty surrounding the overhaul has some Mexican importers turning to other suppliers for the chicken and grain they need.
Corn, sorghum and barley exports to Mexico are down about 7 percent as buyers begin buying more from South American suppliers and insiders say the situation will get worse if the NAFTA negotiations drag out.
**A trio of nominees to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have pledged to protect the ability of farmers and ranchers to hedge against volatility in the commodity markets.
If confirmed, the nominees also indicated they are open to seeking an increase in the agency’s staff, an issue that’s sharply divided Republicans and Democrats.
The nominees are former Senate Agriculture Committee aide Dawn DeBerry Stump, Brian Quintenz, a former fund manager and a one-time House GOP adviser, and Russ Behnam, who served as counsel to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, ranking Democrat on the Ag Committee.