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.
When President Trump meets Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Wednesday, it should be a red-letter day for Trump's policy of bilateral, rather than multi-nation, trade negotiations. The two leaders are expected to approve a deal on agricultural and digital trade. U.S. food and ag exports could rise as a result.
For Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer, the math is brutal in the U.S.-China tariff war: "You tax soybeans at 25 percent and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers." China, the No. 1 customer for U.S. farm exports, canceled purchases of nearly $140 million worth of U.S. soybeans just before the two countries imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's products. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said on Sunday the Trump administration was working on "a number of new free-trade agreements," but China "will be a much longer haul."
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.
The farm bill was the missing topic during a 45-minute session recently with farmers in southwestern Missouri, recalls Sen. Roy Blunt. "The farm bill never came up." Instead, growers talked about threats to farm exports, over-regulation and the need for rural broadband. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says low commodity prices, the slump in farm income, attacks on corn ethanol and, most of all, anxiety about a possible trade war are the top concerns in farm country. No paywall
A growing number of farmers and rural advocates say President Trump's trade and rural infrastructure proposals would further damage the struggling farm economy, despite his vow to boost rural America through renewed investment.
The farm sector is “rightfully concerned” that President Trump’s plan for steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum could trigger retaliatory tariffs on U.S. ag exports, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Exports account for 20 percent of U.S. farm income.
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.
Exports generate an important part of U.S. farm income, yet they are jeopardized by President Trump's decision to renegotiate NAFTA and his threats to cancel the U.S.-Korea trade pact, writes former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman in an essay in The Hill newspaper. "These two threats alone have serious potential implications for the health of American agriculture, which is so dependent on agriculture exports.
President Trump’s new threat to terminate NAFTA, made during a rally in Phoenix, is a negotiating tactic rather than a serious possibility, said Canadian and Mexican officials. “This was always a card we knew the president would likely play . . . it may have been a bit earlier than expected,” a Canadian official told Reuters.