ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - It looks like members of the House will have less time to Christmas shop and more time to work on spending bills and trade deals over the next couple of weeks. That’s because House leadership has told members that the current session will run through December 20th instead of through the 13th, as originally scheduled. And that’s good news for a potential vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Members from both sides of the aisle feel the deal is close to being done and the extra week in town may seal the deal. If not, observers speculate it may not come to a vote until after our fall elections as Democrats won’t want to give President Trump any victories to use in his campaign.
President Donald Trump speaking at the UN General Assembly amid mounting trade conflicts, Photo Date: 09/25/2018 / Photo: MSNBC / (MGN)
Also on the trade front, it looks like the U.S.-Japan trade deal is done. Yesterday Japan’s Upper House of Parliament passed the deal meaning the new agreement will probably take effect shortly after the start of the new year. Japan is the third biggest buyer of U.S. farm products at about $14 billion a year. This deal should increase that total as tariffs on products like beef, pork, corn, wheat, cheese and wine will all go away under this deal. But observers say the Japanese still want action taken by the U.S. to get rid of the 2 and a half percent tariffs on Japanese autos coming to the United States. This agreement replaces our involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership the Obama Administration had negotiated with Japan and several other countries in that part of the world that President Trump got the U.S. out of shortly after he took office.
Several Wisconsin farmers were among many from around the country who have been contacted this week by USDA economist for the annual County Agricultural Production Survey. Farmers are being asked about their total acres planted and harvested, total yield and production for row crops as well as how much grain and oilseeds they have stored on their farms. The results will be released in January as part of the Crop Production Annual Summary.
Current and prospective hemp growers can find out more about the industry at 2 meetings in western Wisconsin today. At 10 this morning at the Melrose American Legion Hall and at 1:30 at the Hillsboro Brewing company, University researchers and state regulators will talk about CBD Hemp, growing the crop for grain and fiber as well as licensing and registration requirements for 2020.