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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Chairman K. Michael Conaway Committee on Agriculture Hearing: Examining the 2017 Agenda for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning. I would like to thank Chairman Giancarlo for being here today to highlight his plans for the CFTC. I first want to congratulate him on his nomination and confirmation. I count Chris as a friend; I have enjoyed his counsel and the opportunity to work with him the past three years. He is going to make a fine Chairman of the CFTC and I have all the confidence in him.

I would also like to thank our colleagues in the Senate for their quick action in confirming Brian Quintenz and Russ Benham as new commissioners. Having met with both of these gentlemen, I know they will be able and thoughtful commissioners. I’m also looking forward to the confirmation of Dawn Stump. The Senate’s waiting to pair her with the nominee for the fifth and final seat, so hopefully that process moves along and we can finally have a full commission. The ag community is deeply supportive of her nomination and is looking forward to having her perspective inside the building.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your willingness to take a look back at the regulatory responses made to the financial crisis of 2008. Many of our members have been advocates of a comprehensive review of the CFTC’s Title VII rulemakings. Too many end-users and market participants remain adversely impacted by the sprawling, complex rules. I share your conviction that we can improve economic growth by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens.

I am also encouraged by your vision for improving the management at the CFTC. You’ve said you want to make the CFTC a “21st Century Regulator” and I look forward to more details about LabCFTC and other modernization plans. You’ve also made structural changes and moved some personnel reporting lines, and I am interested in hearing about any early payoff.

You’ve outlined an ambitious agenda that is headlined by two issues this committee has spent substantial time examining: the SEF trading rules and the swap data reporting requirements. Progress on these two issues is critical to the success of the Title VII reforms. The status quo will leave fractured markets and nearsighted regulators. I am hopeful you can make meaningful headway on both these fronts.

Finally, international issues remain front and center before the commission. As we expected, trading venue equivalence is an important issue and I am encouraged by what I’ve heard in the news. But I am discouraged to read that CCP equivalence is again on the table. It is imperative that the U.S.-E.U. equivalence determination doesn’t become collateral damage in the Brexit fight.

You’ve talked about deference between international regulators and I support that stance one hundred percent. For three Congresses in a row, this committee and this House have passed strong language that would have enshrined principles of mutual deference to competent regulators into law. These markets are too big and too important to strangle with bureaucratic infighting.

Again, thank you for coming in today and the time you and your staff have spent preparing. We look forward to your testimony and working with you over the course of your term.

I now turn to the Ranking Member, Mr. Peterson, for any comments he would like to make.