Ag exports, a key part of U.S. farm revenue, are expected to generate 36 cents of every $1 in cash income this year, thanks to high commodity prices as the world recovers its appetite and the pandemic recedes. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the country ought to diversify its sales to a broader range of markets.
Beginning on Jan. 1, Japan will lower or eliminate tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of U.S. farm exports under a “mini” trade pact that received final approval in Japan’s parliament on Wednesday.
Japanese beef producers will be hit the hardest by their nation's agreement to reduce tariffs on U.S. food and agriculture products, according to an estimate by the government in Tokyo. The package calls for Japan to reduce or eliminate tariffs on $7.4 billion worth of U.S. ag exports beginning on Jan. 1.
An accord expected to boost U.S. farm exports to Japan may not be complete in time for signature by President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week. The so-called mini-deal would cover agriculture and digital trade but is being held up by Tokyo's request that the United States promise not to impose tariffs on cars imported from Japan.
The U.S. food and agriculture sector would lose nearly $22 billion in exports, equal to 15 percent of this year's sales forecast, if the United States scrapped NAFTA without a replacement on top of withdrawing from TPP, said three Purdue economists in a report on Monday. "Under this more pessimistic outcome, the negative trade impacts would be reflected in lower incomes for U.S. farmers, reduced land returns and labor displacement."
With the trade war stunting U.S. farm exports after two years of growth, President Trump said he has asked China to remove its retaliatory tariffs on U.S. food and ag exports. Trump announced the request on the same day four large farm groups opened their annual meetings with a joint endorsement of the new North American trade pact negotiated by the White House.
Three groups that promote U.S. farm exports say the upcoming U.S.-Japan trade talks are a chance to gain ground against Australia, Canada, and the EU, which will benefit from free trade agreements with Japan.
The United States and Japan will open negotiations on a free trade agreement “that can produce early results” on manufactured goods, announced President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday. Japan, however, said that in the upcoming negotiations it would not lower tariffs on food, agriculture, and fishery imports.
Three Republican senators said on Thursday that re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership could speed up the process of finding alternative markets for farm exports now that China has closed its door to them.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told senators on Thursday that “hopefully, we are in the finishing stages” of negotiating the new NAFTA. At the same time, he said Japan is balking at writing a trade agreement with the United States and the administration has yet to start talks with other Pacific Rim nations as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
When Japan and the United States begin a new round of trade talks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, they should be in the format of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free trade agreement that was the bête noire of President Trump’s campaign.
A year to the day after President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, the remaining 11 nations, which include Australia, Japan, Canada, and Mexico, completed a free trade agreement of their own.
More than 60 percent of U.S. red meat exports go to countries involved in NAFTA or TPP, says the U.S. Meat Export Federation, part of the chorus of livestock and meat industry groups worried by the Trump administration upheaval of trade agreements. "The honeymoon with many in agriculture was over before it ever really began, it appears," says Beef magazine, adding, "And many in ag don’t like it."
The White House declared "a new era of U.S. trade policy in which the Trump administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies" following its withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Farm groups, whose members voted by a landslide for President Donald Trump, called for protection against loss of farm exports due to the change in focus.
The president of the California Farm Bureau says he's optimistic President-elect Donald Trump will see the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good deal despite campaigning against it, reports Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is to meet Trump on Thursday, says there will be an Asian pivot to a Chinese-led trade pact that would exclude the United States if TPP founders.
After meeting Wisconsin dairy farmers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the second government purchase of surplus cheese in two months to offset a 33 percent drop since 2014 in the farm-gate price of milk. As in August, USDA will buy $20 million of cheese for donation to food banks …
Congressional leaders have said repeatedly that they won't call the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement for a vote in the post-election session, but farm groups are undeterred in pushing for action, said Feedstuffs. "The TPP has huge potential benefits for soybean farmers," said Richard Wilkins, president of the American Soybean Association, both in exports and in higher domestic demand for livestock feed to satisfy the growing foreign demand for meat.
U.S. agricultural exports have begun to rally and will continue the record-setting pace that began in 2009, USDA reported, in an estimate for fiscal year 2017 and a revised forecast for fiscal year 2016. China has now advanced to the No. 1 export market for U.S. farm goods, surpassing Canada. …