August 18, 2019

Senate Farm Bill: Funding Ideas Continue

Reuters writers Maria Luisa Palomino and Teresa Cespedes reported this morning that, “World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy said on Thursday he believed the framework of a global trade deal was achievable before the end of the year, with agreement possible even on the thorniest issues…Many analysts think the next few weeks are critical for the fate of the Doha round of trade talks, which began in late 2001. Without a breakthrough soon, the talks could be shelved until 2009, or possibly longer.”

I. Farm Bill
II. Biofuels

I. Farm Bill

DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom reported yesterday (link requires subscription) that, “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., is planning to pay for the trust fund for a permanent agriculture disaster program in his farm-bill-related agricultural tax package by allocating part of the tariff income that the Agriculture Department gets each year, lobbyists said Wednesday. The lobbyists had been briefed by Baucus’ staff.

“Under Section 32 of Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment of 1935, the Agriculture Department already gets an appropriation equal to 30 percent of the import duties collected on all items entering the United States under the customs laws, plus any unused balances up to $300 million. Section 32 was enacted to widen market outlets for surplus agricultural commodities as one way of strengthening farm prices, but the measure is used mostly today by appropriators to pay for child nutrition programs. The rest of the tariff income goes to the Treasury Department. It is unclear whether Baucus will increase the amount of total tariff income that the Agriculture Department gets or redesignate part of the Section 32 money for disaster aid.”

“Durum wheat is harvested in Balma, near Toulouse, France. (Caroline Blumberg/Bloomberg News)” (Via The International Herald Tribune Online)

For a more detailed look at Section 32, see this Congressional Research Service Report by Geoffrey S. Becker, “Farm and Food Support Under USDA’s Section 32 Program” (February 23, 2007).