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.

A deal on USMCA, but final approval will wait until 2020

U.S. farmers and ranchers would see modest gains in food and agriculture exports under the revised North American trade agreement announced by the White House and House Democrats on Tuesday, the same day the House moved closer to impeaching President Trump. Farm groups called for speedy …