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 …

Tariff-rate quotas are more likely to stay than be negotiated away

The Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, concluded in 1994, created tariff-rate quotas for agriculture with the expectation that they would be a stepping stone to freer trade. Instead, most of those TRQs are still in place and new WTO members have added 43 more, says a report by three USDA researchers.

WTO membership is essential, say farm and agribusiness groups

The WTO may need reform, but there is no question the United States should be part of the international body, said five dozen farm and agribusiness groups in a letter to the Trump administration. "As long as exports are important to U.S. agriculture, WTO membership will be essential as well," said the groups.

Voluntary, not mandatory, meat-origin labels, says Perdue

Despite interest among cattle activists, a return to mandatory country-of-origin labels on beef "is not going to happen unless we want to do a billion-dollar litigation damage with Mexico and Canada," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.

Trump tariff payments may bring WTO woes, says think tank

The United States could tarnish its leadership for fair trade in agriculture because of its multibillion-dollar trade-war payments to farmers, said a report issued by the free market American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday. Author Joe Glauber, former USDA chief economist, said the Market …

Sino-U.S. trade war could last until late 2020, says Trump

President Trump was ambivalent about this week's trade talks with China, saying "I don't know if they're going to make a deal," even as China hinted at goodwill purchases of U.S. farm exports. Meanwhile, the White House said China, the second-largest economy in the world, ought to shed its status at the WTO as a developing nation and to play by the same rules as the United States and other industrial nations.

U.S. wins again at WTO, though compliance by China may be months away

The WTO ruled in favor of the United States in its complaint that China had rigged its tariff system to constrict entry of foreign-grown grain. The ruling was the second U.S. victory in seven weeks against trade-distorting Chinese agricultural practices.

On trade: Long-term gain or long-term pain?

The Trump administration says its policy of confrontation with trading partners, such as the trade war with China and tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, will lead to more advantageous relations for the United States. But Bill Reinsch, of the think tank Center for Strategic and International Relations, says the promise of "short-term pain, long-term gain" is unlikely to come true.

U.S. farm group would support supply management in NAFTA

Agriculture amounts to a small part of NAFTA trade volume but it is a major sticking point for U.S. and Canadian negotiators who are scheduled to resume negotiations on the new NAFTA on Wednesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group said the White House ought to adopt the dairy supply management system that it reportedly is trying to eliminate in Canada and reinstate country-of-origin labeling on beef.