U.S. ag exports to China on the rise, but not at ‘phase one’ pace

China is stepping up its purchases of U.S. farm exports, but it will not meet the ambitious sales goals of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war, said USDA data on Wednesday. In a quarterly forecast, USDA analysts said China, the farm sector's No. 1 customer before the trade war, will remain locked in third place as an export destination in 2021, behind Canada and Mexico.

Trump offers aid to lobster industry and a tariff threat to China

President Trump told the USDA on Wednesday to provide trade war relief to U.S. lobster fishermen and producers and threatened retaliatory tariffs on seafood from China if Beijing fails to buy massive amounts of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products this year.

Covid-19, ‘this global tragedy,’ flattens U.S. ag exports

Throttled by pandemic, U.S. farm exports this year will barely exceed last year's totals, wiping out hopes of a speedy recovery from trade-war losses, said the USDA. Sales to China are rising but slower than projected when the "phase one" trade agreement with Beijing took effect in February, and far from the tripling necessary to satisfy the purchase levels specified in the pact.(No paywall)

Maybe we should cut off cattle imports, says Trump

The United States “should look at the possibility of terminating” trade agreements that allow cattle imports into the country, said President Trump on Tuesday — a suggestion that would almost solely affect Canada and Mexico, partners in the USMCA. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said …

Voluntary, not mandatory, meat-origin labels, says Perdue

Despite interest among cattle activists, a return to mandatory country-of-origin labels on beef "is not going to happen unless we want to do a billion-dollar litigation damage with Mexico and Canada," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

Senate to give Trump a trade victory days before impeachment trial

In a sudden legislative speed-up, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the Senate will pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement before the end of this week, a trade victory for President Trump days before an impeachment trial begins. The “new NAFTA”  would bring modest …

Near-unanimous Senate approval, ‘hopefully soon,’ predicted for USMCA

The Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved one of President Trump’s top priorities, an updated free trade pact with Canada and Mexico, on Tuesday with Democrats claiming a share of the credit in a trade victory for the president. U.S. agriculture would see modest increases in exports …

House to start ‘new NAFTA’ on its way to reality

The Democratic-controlled House is set to approve one of President Trump’s top priorities today — an updated North American trade pact — a day after impeaching him. The Senate is not expected to give final congressional approval to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement until early next year.

Lighthizer seeks to reassure Mexico on USMCA deal

With the "new NAFTA" nearing a House vote, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer assured Mexico that disputes over labor provisions of the trade agreement will be resolved by independent panels. Mexico was suspicious that a U.S. proposal to post five Labor Department attaches in Mexico City was an underhanded way of bringing foreign labor inspectors into the country.

Kudlow says ‘no arbitrary deadlines,’ but a Sino-U.S. trigger date is near

China said it would waive import tariffs on some shipments of U.S. soybeans and pork in a goodwill gesture hours before White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the two nations were close to an interim agreement on the trade war. "No arbitrary deadlines," said Kudlow, but the Trump administration has set Dec. 15 as the date for higher duties on $160 billion of consumer goods made in China.