Although ag exports are consistently larger than ag imports, that trade surplus is forecast to narrow to $14.5 billion in fiscal 2019, which would be the smallest surplus since the $12.2 billion of 2007, say USDA economists.
Taking a "show me" stance, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday he expected China to roll back tariffs on U.S. farm exports promptly and begin trade reforms in line with the trade deal struck by President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The White House said over the weekend that China will make "very substantial" purchases of agricultural, energy and industrial goods but analysts saw no firm commitments in the statement.
Six in 10 respondents to a Purdue poll on farmer confidence said the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement had either completely or somewhat relieved their concerns about their income over the next year.
Although President Trump declared the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement a big win for U.S. farmers, a study released on Wednesday says U.S. farm exports will fall by $1.8 billion due to retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and Canada. That would be four times larger than the gains the trade pact would produce.
Ten days ahead of the midterm elections, President Trump will tout his agricultural record to a pared-down crowd of 7,000 teenagers at the FFA national convention in Indianapolis and campaign in southern Illinois for an imperiled Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee.
Senate and House negotiators tacitly acknowledged on Wednesday that the 2018 farm bill will be late, due to intractable disagreements. The delay could add the bill to a growing list of agricultural disappointments.
The United States and Japan will open negotiations on a free trade agreement “that can produce early results” on manufactured goods, announced President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday. Japan, however, said that in the upcoming negotiations it would not lower tariffs on food, agriculture, and fishery imports.
Three Republican senators said on Thursday that re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership could speed up the process of finding alternative markets for farm exports now that China has closed its door to them.
When it decides whether to make a second round of Trump tariff payments, the USDA said on Thursday, it will consider changes in tariffs, commodity prices, and other market conditions since it announced that $4.7 billion would be split among the producers of seven commodities this fall.