China U.S. Beef Ban; Perdue Vote Set for April 24
**Six months after China announced its intention to lift its ban on U.S. beef, the two countries remain far apart.
Hopes are high that President Trump will be able to break the logjam when he meets today with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida, but even if the two agree, there’s still a lot of work remaining to restore trade.
China was one of many nations that banned U.S. beef in 2003 after the U.S. confirmed its first case of mad cow disease.
Most countries have since lifted their bans.
** Scott Gottlieb, President Trump’s nominee to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, says he’s receptive to the idea of extending the deadline for food manufacturers to make changes to the Nutrition Facts panel.
Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts asked Gottlieb whether he would consider postponing the Nutrition Facts label deadlines, citing industry concerns about a lack of needed guidance to implement the changes, and a later deadline to meet requirements of the GMO labeling law passed last year.
** The Senate will vote April 24th on the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as Ag secretary after lawmakers return from their 2-week Easter recess.
Senate leaders scheduled the vote after Democrats blocked action on the former Georgia governor’s nomination this week, preventing him from starting work before the recess.
Delaying the vote benefits Democrats because it eats up legislative days that Republicans could use to roll back regulations implemented by the Obama administration.