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W E E K L Y  U P D A T E  April 29 , 2019
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Briefing: NEMWI to Hold Asian Carp  Briefing  on April 30
The Northeast-Midwest Institute and the Asian Carp Regional Coordination Committee are hosting a briefing on  Tuesday, April 30, to discuss Asian Carp mitigation in the Great Lakes region. Details about the briefing are below:

What: Congressional Briefing on Asian Carp and the Great Lakes

Who: Cohosted by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) and the Northeast-Midwest Institute  (NEMWI)

When:  Tuesday, April 30, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Where:  Rayburn HOB 2322

Meeting Agenda:
  • 2019 Action Plan: Addressing the Threat
    • Bill Bolen, USEPA and ACRCC Co-chair
  • Sound Deterrent Technologies and Entrainment
    • Mike Weimer, USFWS
  • Grass Carp in Lake Erie
    • John Navarro, Ohio DNR
    • Cindy Tam, USGS
  • Illinois and Kentucky Expanded Harvesting Effort
    • Kevin Irons, Illinois DNR
  • Brandon Road Selected Plan
    • Col. Aaron Reisinger, USACE Chicago District
    • Col. Steven Sattinger, USACE Rock Island District
RSVP: Matt McKenna,

For more information,  please contact  Matthew McKenna, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute .
Briefing: How Communities Can Drive Defense Manufacturing

How can we best rebuild American manufacturing? One place to start is the Defense Manufacturing Communities Support initiative, a dynamic new model aimed at mobilizing communities to address the military's urgent manufacturing needs. Launched as a prototype in 2014, the program is already showing success in 24 communities across the country. These communities are poised to modernize
the defense industrial base-improving its readiness, its supply chains, and its skilled workforce.

Join us on Thursday, May 9, for a briefing featuring local leaders and national experts who will explore how this model has spurred lasting public-private collaboration in manufacturing communities, and is set to expand into new communities and serve as a cornerstone of federal manufacturing policy.
This event is co-sponsored by American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative, The Century Foundation, and the Northeast Midwest Institute.

What: Congressional Briefing on How Communities Can Drive Defense Manufacturing

Who: Co-hosted by t he Northeast-Midwest Institute, the American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative, and the Century Foundation

When:  Thursday, May 9, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Where:  Longworth HOB B208

RSVP: Here

For more information,  please contact  Eric Heath , Senior Policy Counsel for the Mississippi River Basin Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute .
Briefing: MICRA to Hold Briefing on Asian Carp Management in the Mississippi River Basin

The Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA) will host a Congressional staff briefing on Asian carp management and control in the Mississippi River basin. The briefing is cosponsored by a host of organizations that focus on Upper Mississippi policy work and includes the Northeast-Midwest Institute. More details about the briefing can be found below:

What: Briefing on Asian Carp Management and Control in the Mississippi River Basin
Who: Hosted by the MICRA and Co-sponsored by NEMWI
When: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Where: Capitol Visitors Center (SVC 209)

* Mr. Greg Conover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MICRA Coordinator
* Mr. Nick Frohnauer, MN Dept. of Natural Resources, Invasive Species Coordinator
* Mr. Ron Brooks, KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Fisheries Bureau Director
* Mr. Larry Pugh, MS Dept. Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Fisheries Bureau Director
* Mr. Chad Tokowicz, American Sportfishing Association
* Honorable Wade White, Lyon County Kentucky Judge Executive, War On Carp

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session with the speaker panel and representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

For more information, please contact MICRA at
WTO Ruling Could Remove President Trump's Ability to Impose "National Security" Tariffs, Add New Wrinkle to NAFTA Renegotiations 

The World Trade Organization (WTO), an international organization tasked with overseeing international trade matters, is poised to defang the United States government's ability to impose tariffs on the basis of national security on goods imported into the United States.  In the dispute,  Russia - Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit, a WTO dispute settlement panel narrowed the scope of Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which authorizes Members of the WTO to violate certain rules of the agreement for the sake of national security.  This marks the first time Article XXI has been litigated at the WTO.  The lack of WTO jurisprudence on the issue has allowed for a broad application of the Article XXI exceptions, particularly by the Trump administration's recent tariffs on steel and aluminum under section 232 of Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  

The panel report stated that any trade measure in contravention of WTO rules that was made with the intent of falling within the Article XXI exception would need to be related "to the 'hard core' of war or armed conflict." This would almost certainly run afoul of President Trump's signature steel and aluminum tariffs that have thrown a number of international trading sectors into turmoil. 

These steel and aluminum national security tariffs have proven to be a major point of contention between the United States, Canada, and Mexico over the course of NAFTA renegotiations.   President Trump is also considering imposing similar tariffs on automotive imports, an action which would likely be in  contravention of the panel report's assessment of Article XXI. 

For more information, please contact  Eric Heath , Senior Policy Counsel for the Mississippi River Basin Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute .
Group of Bipartisan Lawmakers Request Study into PFAS Cleanup Costs

letter sent on April 25 th addressed to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called for a study that identifies where PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances - of which, PFOA and PFOS are the most prominent - are currently in the U.S. The letter also called for an estimate of the cost for cleaning up the chemicals. The GAO request was sent by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the chairman and ranking member respectively on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and signed onto by Tom Carper (D-Del), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

The letter requested that the study include information about how federal agencies have been dealing with known human health and environmental problems associated with PFAS chemicals and about any of the associated challenges. The letter stated, "[i]t is estimated that as many as 110 million Americans could have PFAS concentrations of at least 2.5 parts per trillion in their drinking water." The EPA has  currently set a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS. A large fraction of those exposed to PFAS chemicals are service members who have been exposed to Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which is commonly used to fight fires in the military. In the letter, the lawmakers additionally requested the study include information on the progress of finding alternatives to the AFFFs that are currently being used on military bases.

For more information, please contact  Eric Heath , Senior Policy Counsel for the Mississippi River Basin Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute .
House Plans to Act on Blocking the US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

The House this week plans to take up legislation that addresses the Trump Administration's proposed withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. The bill, H.R. 9, also known as the Climate Action Now Act, would prohibit the Trump administration from using federal funding to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. While the Administration announced its intentions to withdraw from the agreement, no nation can formally exit the agreement until at least November 2020.

For more information,  please contact  Matthew McKenna, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute .
This Week in Washington

In the Senate:

The Senate is on recess this week.

In the House:

The House is on recess this week

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation