International trade discussions are seeing a new dynamism now that the WTO is focused on updating and reforming its rules, said U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai. In a speech to a Washington think tank, Tai said the ministerial conference scheduled for February should "lock in progress on areas where we can agree."
Both the United States and its partners benefit from free trade agreements (FTAs), judging by the increased volumes of food and agricultural commerce between the nations, concluded a USDA analysis of 14 pacts covering a total of 20 countries. "Trends suggest that agricultural trade increased for many of these countries," said the study. "Another change was a trend toward specialization in certain products."
Trade ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States are scheduled to confer digitally on Monday and Tuesday in the first meeting of the USMCA's Fair Trade Commission, with dairy expected to be the hot topic. U.S. dairy groups called on Sunday for the Biden administration to escalate an ongoing complaint against Canadian dairy quotas unless this week's meeting produces results.
American farmers may benefit doubly during efforts to end the Sino-U.S. trade war, suggested President Trump over the weekend. They will get billions of dollars in payments intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war on the agricultural sector, and China will buy "a tremendous amount" of U.S. food and ag exports while bilateral negotiations are ongoing.
Without providing details, President Trump said on social media over the weekend that Mexico, the largest U.S. food and ag trade partner, would "immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product from our great patriot farmers." Purchases were not mentioned in a joint declaration by the North American neighbors to avert temporarily Trump's threat to impose tariffs on all imports from Mexico unless it acted to restrict crossings at the southern U.S. border.
The Trump administration says its policy of confrontation with trading partners, such as the trade war with China and tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, will lead to more advantageous relations for the United States. But Bill Reinsch, of the think tank Center for Strategic and International Relations, says the promise of "short-term pain, long-term gain" is unlikely to come true.
President Trump put his weight behind an announcement that China, amid negotiations to end the trade war, committed to buy 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. The decision, announced on social media by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday, would more than double Chinese purchases this marketing year but still
Cotton growers plan to expand their plantings by a sharp 3 percent this spring, taking away land from soybeans, the most prominent casualty of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said the National Cotton Council over the weekend. Meanwhile, the USDA said the soybean stockpile will double in size by the time this year's crop is ready to harvest, creating the largest "carryover" ever.
The tenor of Sino-U.S. negotiations is heartening but "we're still a long way" from resolving trade war between the world's two largest economies, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at a cattle industry conference. Meanwhile, China was following through on a pledge, announced at the White House, to buy U.S. soybeans, with some trade sources putting the purchases as high as 4 million tonnes, worth $1.35 billion.
The Sino-U.S. trade war, which as stymied U.S. farm exports, "is going to be a long one, and we keep delivering the message, 'We're with you, Mr. President,'" said the leader of the largest U.S. farm group on Sunday, adding a caveat. "The runaway of our patience is going to be determined by the financial situation of our farms. We went into the battle very weak." (No paywall)
Federal meat inspectors would report to work as usual and the SNAP and WIC programs would stay in operation if there is a partial government shutdown at the end of this week, according to a USDA plan developed for the brief shutdown early this year. Offices running the farm program would be closed, which probably would mean that Trump tariff payments would be delayed until the government opened again.
The U.S. share of the Chinese soybean market shrank during the marketing year that ended Aug. 31 and, with the trade war underway, shipments are anemic in the new sales year, says the USDA: "A large pullback in Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans appears likely to continue well into 2918/19."
Producers of shelled almonds and fresh sweet cherries are eligible for cash payments to offset the impact of trade war on U.S. agriculture, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The announcement on Friday was the first addition to the list of commodities earmarked for an estimated $4.7 …
As a consequence of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Brazil is likely to ship nearly 60 million tonnes of soybeans to China this calendar year, a 9-percent increase from 2017, say USDA analysts. While the United States is effectively shut out of China because of high tariffs, "U.S. trade opportunities for markets outside of China would rise by nearly 13 million tonnes in the coming (trade) year, compared to 2016/17," according to the monthly Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report.
Much of the domestic discussion of NAFTA’s effects have centered on American workers, eaters, and growers. But the deal has had just as large an impact on Mexico’s economy, workforce, and agriculture. In Eating NAFTA: Trade, Food Policies, and the Destruction of Mexico, Alyshia Gálvez writes of how Mexico has been affected by the trade deal, and what possibilities for better deal-making could emerge if we took seriously the concerns of that country’s workers, eaters, and growers.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue described a potential tri-national agreement on a new NAFTA as the start of a domino effect in rewriting U.S. relations with trading partners around world. "I would love to have a deal today with Canada to put NAFTA back together," said Perdue during a C-SPAN interview in which he called for reform of Canada's supply-management system."
President Trump dangled the possibility of terminating NAFTA, which generates one-third of U.S. food and ag trade, at the same time he announced a tentative trade agreement with Mexico on Monday. Farm groups said NAFTA should stay in effect until a new agreement linking North America's three economic giants is in place.
With commodity prices dropping and farm income projected to plummet, America’s farmers are growing increasingly anxious over the lack of specifics about how much money they’re going to get, and when they’re going to get it, from President Trump’s $12-billion bailout, reports The Wall Street Journal.