USDA ‘disappointed’ by revised Mexico corn ban
In a step to defuse trade tensions with the United States, Mexico removed a looming ban on most imports of GMO corn and said it would only block genetically modified corn that would be used in making tortillas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Tuesday the USDA was dissatisfied by the revisions.
U.S. escalates dairy dispute with Canada
An international panel will hear renewed U.S. complaints that Canada is blocking dairy imports, said the Biden administration on Tuesday. The two nations held fruitless consultations in mid-January, so U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai demanded a ruling from a dispute resolution panel — a request that is granted automatically under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.
U.S. shrugs at Mexico claim of accord on GMO corn
Biden administration officials refused to say more than that they were studying potential resolutions to a blossoming dispute over GMO corn exports on Wednesday, although Mexico’s agriculture minister said an informal agreement already existed. Minister Victor Villalobos claimed U.S. officials were satisfied with a proposal to delay a ban on the import of GMO corn until 2025, according to a published report.
U.S. requests third consultation on Canadian dairy quotas
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is six months shy of its third anniversary and the United States already has requested a third set of bilateral consultations over its objections to Canada's dairy quota system. U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai announced the request on Tuesday, saying the government has identified additional aspects of Canadian import rules that violate its agreement to allow a larger volume of U.S. dairy imports.
Revise GMO corn decree or face U.S. challenge, Vilsack warns Mexico
Ahead of a visit by Mexican government leaders, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that the Biden administration was ready to challenge Mexico under North American trade rules unless it “rectifies” a presidential decree that would ban imports of genetically modified corn at the start of 2024.
USDA trade nominee would pair market opening with enforcement
Asia is brimming with opportunities to win lifelong consumers of U.S. food and ag exports, said President Biden’s nominee for USDA undersecretary for trade on Thursday. At a Senate nomination hearing, Alexis Taylor said her priorities would be opening foreign markets to U.S. goods and the diligent enforcement of the rules governing trade agreements.
U.S. files new challenge to Canada’s dairy quotas
Accusing Canada of backsliding on its commitments, the United States requested consultations on Wednesday with its northern neighbor over dairy import quotas that limit American access to the Canadian market. U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai said Canada has expanded its restrictions despite being the loser in a USMCA trade ruling.
Canadian dairy quotas violate USMCA terms, dispute panel rules
In the first decision under the new North America trade pact, a three-judge dispute settlement panel ruled that Canada had manipulated its tariff-rate quotas to limit imports of U.S. dairy products, despite agreeing to greater U.S. access in the 2020 agreement. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the ruling was a signal of U.S. resolve against unjustified trade restrictions anywhere.
Vilsack trade view: ‘Over-reliance on China,’ no deal with EU soon
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.
U.S. demands trade panel ruling in dairy dispute with Canada
The Biden administration elevated a long-simmering dispute over Canadian dairy quotas on Tuesday by calling for a three-judge panel to decide the matter under USMCA rules. It was the first time that a dispute settlement panel was invoked under the trade agreement that took effect last July 1.
Dairy likely to highlight USMCA consultations
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.
First USMCA challenge is over dairy quotas
The Trump administration said it was challenging Canadian quotas on dairy imports as unfair to U.S. milk producers. The challenge, announced on Wednesday, was the first under the United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.
‘You lost the trade war,’ says Harris; Pence lauds USMCA
The Trump administration "lost the trade war" with China, said Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, on Wednesday during a debate with Vice President Mike Pence, who faulted her for voting against the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It was the first time agriculture was mentioned in the pre-election debates.
Pence: ‘We have a ways to go’ in settling trade war with China
In a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Vice President Mike Pence pointed on Thursday to China's promises to roughly double its purchases of U.S. farm exports as evidence that there is "no greater fighter on trade than President Donald Trump." The pledge was part of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war and is scheduled for a six-month review by the two nations this weekend.
Harris on ag issues: Strong on farmworker protections, against the USMCA
During her time in the Senate, California's Kamala Harris, named Tuesday to be Joe Biden's running mate in this fall's presidential election, has been active on a number of farm and ag issues, including creating a path to citizenship for farmworkers. She has also been an advocate of aggressive action on climate change.
Lighthizer counts on wave of purchases to lift China to ag goal
China is closer than commonly realized to fulfilling its commitment to buy vast amounts of U.S. food and ag products this year, said U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday, rebutting criticism that the "phase one" trade agreement is faltering. "If you had to bet right now, you'd say they're going to do it."
With agreements in hand, fewer farmers expect trade war payments
Farmers are optimistic about the resumption of trade with China and, as a result, fewer of them believe the Trump administration will send trade war payments to producers this year, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Fewer than half of the producers contacted by the Ag Economy Barometer said they anticipated payments this year, compared to nearly six out of 10 last fall.
Give trade agreements time to work, says FCA chief
The chairman of the Farm Credit Administration appealed for Farm Belt patience on Trump trade agreements on Wednesday. "The groundwork has been laid for trade normalization and improved farm prices," said Glen Smith during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.
As Trump takes victory lap, Canada begins USMCA approval
President Trump led a 37-minute celebration of the new NAFTA on Wednesday, signing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on the White House lawn during a ceremony packed with laudatory descriptions of the “very, very special” tri-national free trade agreement.