Trade

‘Stay tuned,’ says Vilsack as dairy demands retaliatory tariffs

The United States was "greatly disappointed" by Canada's refusal to allow larger imports of U.S. dairy products despite a USMCA trade ruling, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. Vilsack expressed solidarity with U.S. dairy groups that called for retaliatory tariffs on Canadian goods, telling reporters, "Stay tuned."

U.S. suspends trade engagement with Burma in wake of coup

Two months after the military coup in Burma, the Biden administration announced a cutoff of trade engagement with Rangoon “until the return of a democratically elected government.” The U.S. trade representative’s office (USTR) also said on Monday it would consider, as part of congressional …

WTO chooses first woman and African as director general

With a Trump administration objection out of the way, the WTO members selected Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian, as its director general effective March 1. She will take office at a time of challenge for the organization; the world has lost confidence in mulilateral trade agreements as a path to …

New approach needed following ‘phase one’ failure, says analyst

The Trump administration’s “phase one” trade agreement with China alienated U.S. allies while failing to deliver on its promises of mammoth purchases by Beijing, wrote trade policy expert Chad Bown on Monday in calling for a new approach. “Only a group of countries working together and sharing …

Farmers doubt China will meet phase-one target for ag imports

The “phase one” Sino-U.S. trade agreement called for a doubling or tripling of U.S. ag exports to China, but with four months left in the year more farmers than not are skeptical the sales bonanza will be realized, according to a Purdue University poll released on Tuesday. There is reason for …

China makes its largest ever purchase of U.S. corn

Far behind on its “phase one” commitments with the United States, China bought 1.76 million tonnes of U.S. corn, its largest purchase ever of American corn and also the largest sale of U.S. corn to any buyer in three decades, said the USDA on Tuesday. It was the second major corn purchase by …

Press China to buy more, farm groups say to Trump

The "phase one" trade agreement with China could be the foundation of rural and food-sector prosperity, said 192 farm and agribusiness groups in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday that called for timely implementation of the pact, signed five months ago at the White House.

China pauses on buying U.S. ag exports pause, then sputters ahead

On the same day that Beijing reportedly told state-run trading houses to pause purchases of U.S. farm exports, the companies bought a small amount of U.S. soybeans on Monday, according to unnamed sources. The pause was described as saber rattling and also a sign that the "phase one" trade agreement was in jeopardy as Sino-U.S. relations sour.

China buys more; will it be enough for ‘phase one’?

The “phase one” trade agreement with China, one of President Trump’s top trade achievements, calls for Beijing to buy huge quantities of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood exports. Sales of soybeans, cotton, pork, corn, sorghum and wheat are stronger than a year ago but an Iowa think tank …

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 …

China trade advisers talk of renegotiating U.S. trade pact – report

Some Chinese trade advisers are arguing that Beijing should invalidate the "phase one" trade agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war as retaliation for a U.S. coronavirus blame campaign, reported a state-controlled Chinese newspaper on Monday. The agreement obliges China, formerly the top customer for U.S. ag exports, to buy roughly $40 billion a year of American food, agricultural and seafood products.

Soybean stocks to surge if Sino-U.S. trade war flares

President Trump says “it’s certainly an option” to impose additional tariffs on China, a step that could end hopes of large U.S. farm exports to the Asian rival. A resumption of trade hostilities could mean larger U.S. soybean carry-over stocks this Sept. 1 and in fall 2021, possibly 500 …

Labor shortages, SNAP cuts, trade deals: How could coronavirus affect our food supply chain?

Although U.S. shoppers concerned about the coronavirus pandemic have largely emptied stores of paper products and household cleaning supplies, so far most other grocery aisles remain stocked. Still, as the virus spreads across the U.S., it could expose other weaknesses in our food supply chain, experts say. (No paywall)

National Farmers Union elects new president; Perdue reassures on trade

The National Farmers Union elected Rob Larew, the organization’s senior vice president of public policy and communications, as president at its annual convention Monday in Savannah, Georgia. Larew will take the helm from outgoing president Roger Johnson, a former agriculture commissioner of North Dakota, who served in the role since 2009.

Will total U.S. ag exports rise if China buys more?

Without a doubt, the best outcome from the "phase one" agreement with China "is the possibility of U.S. exports to China returning to pre-trade war levels," says economist Dave Widmar. But it's not clear how larger sales to China would affect overall U.S. ag exports, which are forecast at $139 billion this year and have varied from a low of roughly $130 billion to a record-high $152 billion over the past several years.

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 …

Painful ag restructuring if Sino-U.S. trade war persists

If there is no near-term resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade war, the Trump administration will need to spend billions of dollars in additional trade war payments to farmers and ranchers or watch farm income sink, said two economists on Monday. Either way, there would be painful restructuring in the sector, which has collected more than $10 billion in Trump tariff payments this year.

Stronger-than-expected sales to China buoy US ag exports

The China-U.S. trade war cut deeply into U.S. farm exports to China, but not as far as initially estimated, said the Department of Agriculture on Monday. The agency forecasted $139 billion in agriculture exports, the largest amount in three years and up 3 percent from 2019. A key reason for the …

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