Just months after retaliatory tariffs deposed China as the leading customer for U.S. farm exports, President Trump threatened import duties of up to 25 percent on Mexico, the No. 1 food and ag trade partner of the United States. Farm groups fear the trade war will cut deeper into the shrinking global market for U.S. crops and livestock.
U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday to trigger the process of approving the new NAFTA. The draft of a so-called statement of administrative action allows the Trump administration to submit the trade deal to Congress within 30 days.
Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are scheduled to confer today in Ottawa on what could be a summertime sprint in both countries to ratify the USMCA trade agreement.
The three largest countries in North America announced an end to the 11-month battle of tariff and retaliatory tariff that pinched U.S. farm exports to Canada and Mexico, the two largest customers in the world in the for the goods. The agreement, which took effect over the weekend, improved the prospects for ratification of the new NAFTA and altered the dynamics of the Sino-U.S. trade war.
A restaurant in Toronto is avoiding food waste by chopping menu prices on Sunday night until all the food it wants to sell is gone, much to the delight of its diners, reports Jonathan Bloom in FERN’s latest story, produced in partnership with NPR’s The Salt.(No paywall)
Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley is working with like-minded senators on crafting a bipartisan bill to limit the president’s power to impose import tariffs in the name of national security. “We’ve got to get a huge vote on it because it could be vetoed by the president,” said Grassley on Wednesday.
Canadian farmers plan to slash canola plantings by 7 percent this year because of a trade clash with China and to greatly expand their sowings of spring wheat, said Statistics Canada on Wednesday.
U.S. food and agricultural exports would increase by $2.2 billion, or 1.1 percent, with full implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the successor to NAFTA, said the U.S. International Trade Commission in a report issued Thursday.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators may be within four weeks of resolving the Sino-U.S. trade war, said President Trump on Thursday. Trump said the nations are working on a comprehensive agreement. “And whether it’s our farmers or our technology people, all of them will be really happy.”
Vice President Mike Pence told Indiana farmers on Thursday that the Trump administration is “absolutely determined to see the USMCA completed and ratified by the U.S. Congress this spring.” During his visit, the vice president heard complaints about tariffs on agricultural products from “numerous” crop and hog farmers.