The Week Ahead: Oct. 10-16, 2011

October 10, 2011 12:46 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Free Trade Agreements | USDA Reports | FOMC Minutes

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

The Senate will vote on a revised version of President Obama's jobs proposal (S 1660) and a controversial measure related in part to China's currency, while the House will consider three long-pending free trade agreements (FTAs) and an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, and further debate of a bill to delay implementation of air pollution regulations.

The jobs legislative proposal includes a one-year reduction in payroll taxes for workers and employers, additional funding for transportation and school modernization projects, and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) included a 5.6 percent surtax on households with an annual income of over $1 million to offset the cost of the jobs package.

The Senate will also complete consideration of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act (S 1619) during the week. The bill includes provisions that would require the Treasury Department to identify misaligned currencies and allow for duties on products imported from countries with manipulated currency. The proposal is aimed at China, which some observers accuse of undervaluing its currency in order to gain an unfair trade advantage.

Late in the week, the Senate may consider pending trade agreements that the House is set to consider Oct. 12, with Senate votes to be held as early as Oct. 13.

The House Oct. 12 will consider three pending free trade agreements: the US-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (HR 3078), the US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act (HR 3079), and the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (HR 3080). The House Rules Committee Oct. 6 granted a closed rule providing for floor debate of the three agreements, with 90 minutes of debate allowed for each bill. The rule provides for consideration of the Senate amendment to a bill (HR 2832) to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The Senate's amendment would renew expired provisions of the Labor Department's TAA, which compensates workers who lose their jobs due to the consequences of free trade.

The House on Tuesday, Oct. 11, will consider legislation under suspension of the rules and to continue consideration of the EPA Regulatory Relief Act (HR 2250). The EPA bill would delay implementation of air pollution standards for commercial boilers and incinerators, and give companies at least five years to comply with the new regulations following their enactment. The bill blocks the implementation of four EPA rules proposals that would reduce allowable emissions of mercury, cadmium, particulates and other toxic air pollutants originating from boilers and incinerators, including from institutional facilities (such as universities and hospitals) and industrial facilities. The measure requires the EPA to issue replacement rules that place a greater focus on compliance costs and the impact on the economy. The measure is another of the bills House Republicans argue are needed to roll back regulations they say are impeding job creation and economic growth. The bill is being considered under an open rule which requires that amendments be pre-printed in the Congressional Record. The Obama administration opposes the bill arguing that it would undermine public health protections under the Clean Air Act; weaken EPA's ability to protect Americans from harmful pollutants, including mercury and other toxic metals; and result in significant negative public health impacts by further delaying the implementation of emission standards for boilers and incinerators.

This week's Washington-related agenda: The week ahead is a relatively light one for economic reports, but USDA reports will be the focus on Wednesday when USDA releases its Crop Production and US and world agricultural supply and demand estimates. The agenda for congressional committees features hearings on tax reform, banking issues, health care, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and other energy issues.

Monday, Oct. 10

U.S. gov't on federal holiday: Columbus Day. US government closed; Congress is in recess. Equity markets are open. Bond markets and banks are closed. Ag markets are open. Markets closed in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, Japan and Taiwan.

Tuesday, Oct. 11

Volcker Rule vote: The FDIC votes on the Volcker Rule, which would limit banks' investments in hedge funds and private equity.
Free trade agreements and nominations: Senate Finance Committee will mark up legislation that would implement the Colombia (S 1641), Panama (S 1642) and South Korea (S 1643) Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and vote on nominations, including Issi Siddiqui to be chief agricultural negotiator, Office of the US Trade Representative; Paul Piquado to be an assistant secretary of Commerce; David Johanson to be a member of the US International Trade Commission.
GOP presidential candidate debate: The Republican presidential candidate debate will take place at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Federal gov't and agricultural risk: Farm Foundation news conference.
Energy reports: Weekly National Petroleum Report (API) | OPEC monthly oil market report.
Economic reports: Selected Interest Rates (Federal Reserve).
USDA reports: Export inspections (AMS) | Crop Progress (NASS).

Wednesday, Oct. 12

Markets closed in Brazil, Venezuela and Israel.
Agricultural commodities derivatives:
Hearing. House Agriculture Committee hearing on legislative proposals that would amend the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (incorporated into the Dodd-Frank banking revision bill) and the implementation of Title VII, which deals with the regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market, including agricultural commodities.
Food marketing and children's health:
Subcommittee joint hearing. Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee and Subcommittee on Health of House Energy and Commerce Committee joint hearing titled "Food Marketing: Can 'Voluntary' Government Restrictions Improve Children's Health."
LightSquared: The impact to small business GPS users:
Hearing. House Small Business Committee. The session will focus on the impact on small businesses that may result from LightSquared's use of its spectrum to provide broadband service near the Global Positioning System (GPS). Small businesses, including farmers, construction contractors, surveyors and the general aviation industry, rely on the accuracy of GPS. Potential interference with GPS raises significant concerns to some small businesses.
Immigration and customs enforcement priorities:
Subcommittee hearing. House Judiciary — Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.
Impact of energy policies on small business and consumers:
Subcommittee hearing. House Oversight and Government Reform — Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.
Ambassadorial nomination:
Confirmation hearing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Michael McFaul to be ambassador to the Russian Federation.
Budget process issues:
Hearing. Senate Budget Committee hearing on efforts to improve the congressional budget process, focusing on proposals to adopt joint budget resolutions that would be signed by the president and other budget process overhaul issues.
Tax overhaul options:
Hearing. Senate Finance Committee.
Federal budget review:
Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Lingering impact of offshore drilling moratorium:
Oversight hearing. House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing.
Development banks reauthorization:
Subcommittee markup. House Financial Services — International Monetary Policy and Trade Panel markup of pending legislation.
National infrastructure bank:
Subcommittee hearing. House Transportation and Infrastructure — Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
Energy reports: Weekly Petroleum Status Report (EIA) | Weekly ethanol plant production (EIA) | Monthly oil market report (EIA).
Economic reports: Weekly mortgage applications (Labor Dept.) | ICSC-Goldman Store Sales | FOMC Minutes. USDA reports: Crop Production (NASS) | World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (ERS) | Cotton Ginnings (NASS) | Cotton: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | World Agricultural Production (FAS) | Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | Grains: World Markets and Trade (FAS) | Season-Average Price Forecasts (ERS) | Broiler Hatchery (NASS).

Thursday, Oct. 13

Obama hosts South Korean president: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak meets President Barack Obama in Washington.
American Energy Initiative: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
Threats from Iran and economic sanctions: Committee hearing. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Efforts to create jobs and reduce pollution: Subcommittee hearing. Senate Environment and Public Works — Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy.
Relationship between US housing finance system and global financial stability: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — International Monetary Policy and Trade Panel.
Gulf Coast oil spill investigation report: Committee hearing. House Natural Resources Committee.
Endangered Species Act review: Subcommittee hearing. House Science, Space and Technology — Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.
Coal research and energy outlook: Subcommittee hearing. House Science, Space and Technology — Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
Transportation: Weekly Traffic of Major Railroads (Assn. Of American Railroads).
Energy reports: Weekly US underground natural gas stocks (EIA).
Economic reports: Jobless Claims (Labor Dept.) | Weekly Mortgage Rates (Freddie Mac) | ICI weekly money market mutual fund data | International Trade | Treasury Budget.
USDA reports: Grain Transportation Report (AMS) | Latest US Agricultural Trade Data (ERS) | Cotton and Wool Outlook (ERS) | Oil Crops Outlook (ERS) | Rice Outlook (ERS).

Friday, Oct. 14

G20 meeting: Group of Twenty finance ministers meet in Paris (until October 16).
Dodd-Frank derivatives legislative proposals: Subcommittee hearing. House Financial Services — Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises hearing on proposals that would amend provisions contained in Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PL 111-203). Title VII deals with regulation of over the counter swaps markets such as credit default swaps and credit derivatives.
Farm dust regulation prevention act: Subcommittee hearing on HR 1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011.
Solyndra loan guarantee: Subcommittee hearing. House Energy and Commerce — Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Economic reports: Retail Sales | Import and Export Prices | Consumer Sentiment. | Business Inventories.
USDA reports: Export Sales (FAS) | Dairy Products Prices (NASS) | Feed Outlook (ERS) | Livestock and Meat Trade Data (ERS) | Peanut Prices (NASS) | Turkey Hatchery (NASS) | US Agricultural Trade Data Update (ERS).


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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