During a Senate hearing last week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts linked the state of U.S. trade to the farm bill, remarking trade presents more challenges to the farm bill.
Speaking last week at a Senate Finance Committee hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Roberts simply said: “This is not a good situation.” Speculating that if Congress needs to add payments for farmers to reduce the impact of any trade retaliation, he says that would be another "dust-up" as lawmakers try to write a farm bill in the backdrop of a "severe budget situation," along with low farm income.
Roberts, during the hearing, told Lighthizer that the top trade official's agenda must include "a focus on returning the United States to reliable supplier status."
Roberts and the Agriculture Committee is actively working on crafting the next farm bill.
During field hearings held regarding the farm bill, farmers testified about the need for continued strong export opportunities as well as business certainty from regulatory reform.