In the second breakthrough in three months, India said on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting that it would reduce import duties on frozen U.S. turkey and duck meat. Lower tariffs will give U.S. exports a chance to win sales in the rapidly growing market, said U.S. poultry groups, while calling for India to open its market further.
There is a "reasonable indication" that domestic fertilizer manufacturers are being hurt by the alleged dumping of imported fertilizer in the United States, the U.S. International Trade Commission declared in a unanimous vote. As a result of the ITC vote, the Commerce Department will continue its investigation of imports of urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) from Russia and from Trinidad and Tobago.
Food regulators from Mexico and the United States issued a statement of intent on Monday to expand a six-year-old partnership on food safety to cover all of the human food regulated by the FDA. Mexico is a leader in food trade with the United States; about one-third of all the food imported …
China's plan to move to a 10 percent blend of ethanol into its gasoline supply will be a boon for U.S. ethanol exports, said ADM chief executive Juan Luciano. Agrimoney says that Luciano told investors that China could need imports of 8 million tons a year by 2020 to satisfy the E10 target because of the nation's longer-term fuel strategy.
Argentina has requested negotiations with the United States on a "suspension" agreement that would avoid imposition of stiff U.S. anti-dumping duties on its biodiesel exports, said the Commerce Department. The negotiations were announced at the same time the department ordered anti-dumping duties of up to 70 percent on the fuel.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue listed Canada's controls over dairy and poultry imports during a Fox Business interview in saying "some of the things left out of NAFTA" give Canada an unfair advantage in ag trade. At the White House, President Trump said, "It's possible we won't be able to make a deal" and the United States would seek a bilateral pact with Canada or Mexico.
Congress would double the USDA’s annual funding to oversee the booming organic agriculture sector and would provide an additional $5 million to prevent fraudulent organic imports under a bill filed by six U.S. representatives. An industry trade group said the bill would help the National Organic Program (NOP) keep pace with ever-increasing production and rapidly rising consumer demand for organics.
Consumer demand for organic food is booming, with sales topping $43 billion a year, creating the opportunity for importers to claim, fraudulently, that their goods deserve the premium attached to organics, according to a report by the office of the USDA's inspector general (OIG). "Without controls in place at U.S. ports of entry to verify the authenticity of organic import certificates, non-organic products may be imported as organic if unscrupulous parties are willing to use fraudulent organic import certificates," says the OIG.
Argentina and Indonesia unfairly subsidize the production of biodiesel fuel, so the United States will levy countervailing duties as high as 68 percent on the imported fuel, which competes with U.S.-made biodiesel, said the Commerce Department in a preliminary ruling. “Even friendly nations must play by the rules,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
In the three-way race for leadership in the world wheat market, Russia will be No. 1 in the current marketing year, says USDA's Grain: World Markets and Trade report. It's the first time Russia would take the top spot; the United States was No. 1 in 2016/17 and the EU led in 2015/16.
"Faltering trust between trading partners on both sides of the border" may be slowing U.S. farm export to Mexico as the nations prepare to renegotiate NAFTA , says Farm Futures. It says that U.S. exports of corn, soybeans and chicken meat to Mexico declined during the first four months of this year, a period when the new Trump administration floated the idea of a border tax and when U.S.-Mexico relations soured.
The Trump administration has a target for beginning the renegotiation of NAFTA — mid-August — but there is no deadline for wrapping up discussions, assuming that talks are fruitful, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. "We're going to get a good agreement, one that is transformative," Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee.
American citrus growers are angry over the Trump administration’s decision to lift an import ban on lemons from northwestern Argentina. “We were completely blindsided,” said Joel Nelsen, president of the California Citrus Mutual.
Under the threat of $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico, Congress repealed a law 16 months ago that required packages of beef and and pork to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. Activist agricultural groups say a revival of the labels would be a complement to President Trump's America First policy and his complaint of unfair practices by U.S. neighbors.
A Commerce Department agency has authorized up to 20 permits for deep-water aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico that eventually could double the finfish output of the gulf. Fish farming in the ocean would help satisfy the growing world appetite for seafood, but it also is a formidable challenge, writes Virginia Gewin. The story, produced in partnership with FERN, was published in Ensia.
Ending a visit prompted by a meat-inspection scandal, the EU food safety commissioner said Brazil's meat inspection system "must be independent and not under the influence of politicians and other actors," reported Reuters. EU commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told the wire service that EU restrictions and stepped-up checks of meat from Brazil may not be removed in the near term.
U.S. officials repeatedly have prodded China for a faster and more open system for deciding whether to approve the import of new genetically engineered strains of crop. A U.S. business group says China is headed in the opposite direction by taking longer to approve a smaller number of GMO varieties — only one in 2016, reports Reuters.
With the safety of Brazilian beef in question in a meat-inspection scandal, the USDA said it will re-inspect and test fall shipments of beef from the South American country for pathogens. The USDA said none of the 21 facilities targeted by Brazilian police have shipped meat to the United States.
With a scandal clouding Brazil's meatpackers, Montana Sen. Jon Tester announced legislation for a 120-day ban on U.S. imports of meat from the South American country. The ban will give USDA "time to comprehensively investigate food safety threats and to determine which Brazilian beef sources put American consumers at risk," said Tester's office.