Tag Archives: Trade

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey of New York is proposing to block a White House request regarding its farm trade aid program. A Washington Post review of the draft legislation says it would potentially mean trouble for President Trump’s ability to direct aid payments to thousands of American farmers.

A key Republican lawmaker says the Democrat’s move could potentially stall a key bill needed to avoid another government shutdown. The farm bailout is one of several unresolved issues that lawmakers will have to work through to meet a deadline by the end of this month. Up until now, the payments haven’t needed congressional approval.

However, the timing of the next round of payments is directly tied to approval from Congress. The USDA is planning to spend about $28 billion in payments over two years. However, the program Trump is using for the payments has a $30 billion spending limit, which they’re expected to hit this year before completing the second round of payments. Republicans have said they won’t support the government funding bill if it leaves the farm payment issue unresolved.

Friday morning, Chinese media reported that it was suspending the imposition of punitive tariffs on U.S. pork imports. The following is a statement from National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C.:

“If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development. The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60% on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate on most U.S. pork to 72%.

“According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the Chinese retaliation on U.S. pork has shaved $8 off the price of every hog sold in the United States for well over a year. Most of our competitors face only a 12% tariff on their pork exports to China. Pork is somewhat unique given that it is the most important protein consumed in China, accounting for a significant part of the consumer price index.

“Additionally, pork is in short supply in China because African swine fever has ravaged the Chinese hog herd and significantly reduced the production of pork. When you consider that China is the largest producer and consumer of pork in the world, the importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear. U.S. pork exports could single handedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China. We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of U.S. pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of U.S.-China trade restrictions.”

 

Fischer Statement on Suspension of Further Chinese Tariffs on Soybeans and Pork
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after China announced it will suspend tariff hikes on U.S. soybeans and pork:

“It’s good to see recent purchases of U.S. agricultural goods and this morning’s announcement that China will not be adding additional tariffs for U.S. imports of soybeans and pork. This is positive news for Nebraska’s farmers and producers. However, our producers still face significant trade uncertainties. I will continue to push for passage of USMCA, which will bring more opportunities to our state.”

 

 

Negotiators from the United States and China will meet face-to-face next month. Chinese officials told reporters Thursday the agreement was reached in a phone conversation this week.

China’s Vice Premier visited over the phone Thursday morning with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Following the call, China announced negotiators plan to travel to Washington next month for high-level talks, and will continue consultations through September ahead of the meeting in October.

The announcement from China comes as President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office this week that China wants to reach a deal with the United States. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has yet to confirm the planned October meeting, but did say discussions will take place in the coming weeks.

The tit-for-tat trade war with China has dropped U.S. ag exports to China from more than $20 billion in 2017, to $9 billion last year. A breakthrough in negotiations would be welcome news for agriculture.

Lincoln, NE -U.S. Senator Ben Sasse issued the following statement regarding news that Rep. Rosa DeLauro, one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top trade negotiators, said that consideration of the USMCA trade agreement:

“Our farmers and ranchers are bleeding. Speaker Pelosi’s key trade negotiator just said that approving the USMCA treaty is probably going to ‘seep into next year.’ It’s easy to say that in Connecticut or San Francisco — they ought to come to Nebraska and look our farmers and ranchers in the eye. This isn’t political to a lot of moms and dads who are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Madame Speaker, schedule the vote.”

LINCOLN, Neb. – As harvest approaches after an extremely difficult year for agriculture, many Nebraska corn farmers are outraged by the Trump administration’s lack of support for the American farmer. The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association call upon the administration to fulfill its promises and to abide by the law and uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

President Trump’s administration continues to erode the RFS by granting 31 unjustified refinery waivers, destroying demand for corn and ultimately choosing to bail out the oil industry rather than helping American farmers. Corn farmers are already suffering from ongoing trade disputes, uncertain weather and continued low prices.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “All we’re getting is lip service. At one moment, we think President Trump is on our side, and then the refinery waivers come through. It’s truly a slap in the face. Farmers are hurting and it just keeps getting worse.”

Along with undermining the RFS, the U.S. has made little progress in trade. A new deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada still has not been reached and tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China.

“Many of our corn farmers have stood with Trump for a long time, but that may soon change” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “Trump needs to uphold the law and his commitment to our nation’s corn farmers by making the RFS whole and bringing trade agreements to the finish line.”

Nebraska Corn urges you to stand up for our state’s corn and ethanol industries by telling the Trump administration to stop stripping the RFS. Rural America is under attack and now is the time to act. Submit a letter to President Trump by clicking here. Submit comments before the August 30 deadline.

President Donald Trump claims China is ready to return to the negotiating table, but China says they don’t know who the President talked to over the weekend.

A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry told reporters “I am not aware of the phone calls over the weekend.” Trump claims Chinese officials called top U.S. trade officials to say, “let’s get back to the table.” However, China refutes the claim, and hopes the U.S. will “remain calm, return to reason, and immediately stop its wrong approach,” referring to the trade war escalation and Trump’s order against U.S. companies doing business in China.

However, the order met push back from the stock market and the U.S. business sector. China replied, “We hope the U.S. will heed the views from various sectors, calculate its gains and losses, and come to prudent rather than hot-headed decisions.” Over the phone negotiations were set to resume this week and Chinese officials are scheduled to meet in Washington with the U.S. for negotiations next month.

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan had reached an initial agreement on key parts of a U.S.-Japan trade deal.

 

“For Nebraska, our trade relationship with Japan is one of our most important,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Japan is Nebraska’s number four export market, largest direct international investor, and largest international market for beef, pork, and eggs.  Thank you to President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for working with our friends in Japan on crafting a trade deal.  Getting this trade deal done and lowering tariffs for our beef and pork is vital for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers as well as our Japanese customers.”

 

NEBRASKA AND JAPAN’S TRADE RELATIONSHIP

 

Japan is Nebraska’s fourth largest export market, with over $1.1 billion worth of exports in 2017.  The country is Nebraska’s largest direct international investor with Japanese companies employing about 9,400 people in Nebraska.  They are Nebraska’s number one international customer for beef, pork, eggs and number two for ag exports overall, corn, and wheat.

 

  • Beef:  $412.1 million – #1 market
  • Pork:  $262.7 million – #1 market
  • Corn: $242.4 million – #2 market
  • Soybeans and Soybean Products: $78.5 million
  • Eggs: $21.2 million – #1 market
  • Wheat: $17.8 million – #2 market

China has officially announced it will impose an extra five percent tariff on U.S. soybeans starting on September 1. They’ll also add another 10 percent in duties on other major U.S. crops grown by many American soybean farmers.

The latest details come after China vowed last week that it will retaliate if the U.S. goes through with its original plan to increase tariffs on Chinese goods on September 1. ASA President Davie Stephens says, “ASA has strongly requested an end to the tariffs on U.S. beans for more than a year. This escalation will affect us not because of the increased tariff on our sales, which have been at a virtual standstill for months, but through time.” He says the longevity of the situation means worsening circumstances for soy growers who still have unsold product from this past season and new crops in the ground this season.

Stephens adds that “prospects are narrowing even more now for sales to China, a market that soy growers have valued, nurtured, and respected for many years.” ASA is asking both parties to step up and stop the tariffs and find a resolution that doesn’t target soy growers trapped in the middle. Real people, including Chinese citizens and the American public, along with our soybean growers, are the ones actually feeling the effects of the trade war.

Farmers are seeing payments from the first round of the latest trade aid in the mailbox. Farm Service Agency director Richard Fordyce says the first payments are being mailed out now, and farmers are reporting receiving the checks.

Round one of the three potential payments is 50 percent of the overall amount farmers may receive. USDA expects up to $14.5 billion of payments will be sent to farmers, pending on the trade negotiation progress. Another 25 percent of the total would go out later this fall, if the Department of Agriculture deems the payments necessary. The final round, if needed, is planned for some time around January.

The payments are meant to offset the losses stemmed from the Trump trade agenda and trade war with China. Payments range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on location. Payments are also available for dairy and hog producers, under certain reporting parameters.

This is the second time the Trump administration has used the Market Facilitation Program since the trade war with China began.

The latest tomato agreement with Mexico shows the United States can work out trade disputes without resorting to tariffs and underscores the need to ratify the USMCA, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.

 

“We are pleased and relieved to see progress with one of our largest and most important trading partners,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Mexico is a vital trading partner for American farmers and ranchers. We need this agreement and are grateful negotiators capitalized on the close relationship that exists between our two nations. We look forward to more progress on the trade front and are counting the days until the USMCA becomes law.”

 

Among other things, the tomato deal lifts current preliminary duties of 17.5% against Mexican tomatoes and suspends an anti-dumping investigation against Mexican producers begun earlier this year. The agreement also reinstates reference prices for various kinds of tomatoes to assure fairer pricing by Mexican competitors. The agreement is expected to take effect September 19, 2019 following a 30-day comment period.

 

All parties, including growers, back today’s agreement.