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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
As President Trump scored his second trade victory in two days, Senate approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, he asked farmers on Thursday to remember the billions of dollars they had received in trade war payments.
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.