Congress returns on Sept. 9 and is bracing for a busy fall with lawmakers racing to complete a lengthy to-do list of legislative items before the holidays. As the elections approach, there is even more urgency for lawmakers to get big-ticket items out of the way.
The month of August further proved that a resolution to the tariff war between the U.S. and China is far from over. With the volatile state of affairs, the U.S. feed industry is unclear about where things stand and if any progress can be made to resolve the longstanding regulatory roadblocks that have inhibited the export of feed and pet food products into the Asian country.
When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 other countries, including Japan. After the United States' withdrawal from this agreement, it could not enter into force. The remaining nations had to negotiate a new trade agreement, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which entered into force last December.
While the month of June ended on a somewhat hopeful note in regard to the ongoing tariff war with China with promises for the two countries to return to the negotiating table and threats of increased tariffs being suspended, in the last week, a number of developments have occurred that have brought the two countries once again at loggerheads.
On Wednesday, the White House announced that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Shanghai next week "to continue negotiations aimed at improving the trade relationship between the United States and China."
The New Democrat Coalition sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer warning him and the administration that submitting an implementation bill to Congress before addressing the Democratic Party's concerns with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would be a mistake.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently published a Federal Register notice proposing a new list of imported products from China to increase tariffs on by an additional 25%. The American Feed Industry Association is seeking input from members on this action and any other aspects of the proposed tariffs by close of business Friday, June 7.
This week, the American Feed Industry Association held a webcast member update with the legislative and regulatory (L&R) team. It covered a number of topics, including African swine fever preparedness and response, a recap of state legislative activities, funding for new ingredients and the latest discussions on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The White House took a step toward ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) late Thursday by sending a draft statement to Congress that the pact could be coming soon. A "statement of administrative action" begins the 30-day window that must pass before the Trump administration is allowed to submit the full implementing legislation to Congress for consideration.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recently published a Federal Register notice proposing a new list of imported products from China to increase tariffs on by an additional 25%. The American Feed Industry Association is seeking input from members on this action and any other aspect of the proposed tariffs by close of business Friday, June 7.
The most recent round of negotiations between the U.S. and China concluded last Friday with no indication of when a resolution on tariffs on billions of dollars-worth of goods would be removed. In fact, quite the opposite has happened regarding tariffs between the U.S. and China in the last two weeks.
President Donald Trump said he believes trade negotiations with Japan will involve agriculture.
"We'll be discussing very strongly agriculture because as the PM [prime minister] knows, Japan puts very massively tariffs on our agriculture," Trump said of the negotiations.
On Monday, the Mexican Legislature approved new labor reform legislation as a part of its commitment to the U.S.?Mexico?Canada Agreement (USMCA). The reform is mandated in the USMCA and creates a space for workers to form their own unions and contracts over the next four years.
The United States International Trade Commission on April 18 released its assessment of the likely impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) if it is ratified and put into force. As anticipated, because the North American Free Trade Agreement already eliminated duties on most agriculture products, the report finds a modest increase in trade for the agriculture industries.
On Monday, Japan and the United States began negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, focusing on tariffs on goods such as agricultural and industrial products. Farmers and ranchers will be watching for any discussion of potential agriculture-focused negotiations.
President Donald Trump eased off his threat earlier in the week to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border, instead giving Mexico a "one-year warning" and threatening to first impose auto tariffs before closing the border.
While a comprehensive agreement to end the trade war between the U.S. and China may not be produced this week, significant progress on resolving two major sticking points is generally expected: tariffs and an enforcement mechanism to ensure the Chinese live up to its promises in a pact.
Last Friday, March 15, the American Feed Industry Association successfully held its first webcast member update with the legislative and regulatory (L&R) team. It covered a number of topics, including ingredient approvals, international trade, Food Safety Modernization Act inspections and the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 293 (ISO/TC-293).
Wheat growers were thrilled to receive the news that Brazil will establish a 750,000-ton quota for tariff-free wheat imports. The celebration comes as farmers, who have lost export sales after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and slapped duties on major trading partners, prompting retaliation against U.S. farm goods, have dealt with their fair share of headaches.
March 15, the American Feed Industry Association held its a webcast member update with the legislative and regulatory (L&R) team. It covered a number of topics, including ingredient approvals, international trade, Food Safety Modernization Act inspections and the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 293 (ISO/TC-293).
From negotiating better trade deals to combating African swine fever (ASF) to instilling consumer confidence in the food supply, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recent 95th Agricultural Outlook Forum tackled many hot topics facing agriculture industry leaders.
The congressional debate over approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could be the toughest Congress has ever had to deal with. Much of the concern for the USMCA vote stems from the new Members of Congress who have no voting history on free trade agreements.
This week, the American Feed Industry Association's Board of Directors met in Washington, D.C., to discuss association business and advance a few of the animal food industry's policy priorities. The directors took to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, where they impressed upon Congress the need for the Food and Drug Administration to have the resources it needs to complete timely animal food ingredient reviews, pushed for the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and urged a resolution to the trade war with China.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address, his first time to a divided Congress. Trump appealed to Congress and the nation for unity and bipartisanship, while pressing his case for new trade agreements, a desperately needed infrastructure package and better border security.
Last week, the Donald Trump administration released its negotiating objectives for a potential trade agreement with the EU. While the American Feed Industry Association is pleased to see the administration include agriculture in these objectives, the EU has since released its negotiating objectives, which omit agriculture altogether.
Beijing is under growing pressure to deliver something substantial to the U.S. on improving trade relations, when a high-level Chinese delegation travels to Washington next week. The visit by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He could be a major turning point ahead of the March 1 deadline for reaching a deal.
With over $1.4 billion in products exported in 2017, Canada represents the second largest export market for U.S. animal food, but a number of regulatory challenges still remain that limit U.S. animal food products from entering this market.
Earlier this week, U.S. and Chinese trade officials wrapped up the latest round of in-person negotiations in Beijing. This came after extending the negotiations to a third day of discussions, indicating that some progress is being made on issues of great importance.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is still intent on distributing the second tranche of government payments to farmers under the Market Facilitation Plan, but talks are still ongoing with the White House as the administration works to patch trade relations with China and other countries.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported yesterday that China purchased 1.13 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans this week, the ninth-largest daily sale of U.S. soybeans. All indications point toward the U.S. and China finally beginning to work on trade negotiations.
When U.S. negotiations with the EU on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership fell to the wayside at President Donald Trump's command, the feed industry lost hope for addressing market access barriers that continue to restrict products from this very important market.
There's a "good possibility" the U.S. and China could reach a deal to end their ongoing trade disputes this week when President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet for dinner at the G20 summit, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said yesterday.
When President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in January 2017, the feed industry lost hope for increasing market share, not just in the Asian region, but specifically in Japan. Now, the American Feed Industry Association is optimistic by the administration's recent actions to move forward with negotiating a trade agreement with Japan and wants to ensure the industry's voice is heard.
Last week, the International Feed Industry Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) met in Rome to discuss ways to better collaborate on projects aimed at promoting a safe, nutritious and sustainable feed and food supply.
On Oct. 18, the American Feed Industry Association's Board of Directors met in Arizona to discuss and review the association's business items and latest legislative and regulatory work. They also recognized Richard Sellers, AFIA's senior vice president of public policy and education, who will be retiring Dec. 31.
Trade officials struck a deal late Sunday night for a three-way trade pact to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes significant changes to dairy import rules. The U.S. ? Mexico ? Canada Agreement (USMCA) preliminary deal marks a major step toward fulfilling one of President Donald Trump's signature campaign promises.
On Monday evening, President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, intensifying the trade war that has already stung many farmers and ranchers who face retaliatory tariffs on their agricultural products.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland returned to Washington this week to resume discussions over a North American Free Trade Agreement 2.0. But, as negotiators work to bring Canada into the two-way trade deal between the United States and Mexico, representatives of U.S. ag groups are quickly reviewing the details of the bilateral agreement, which could potentially replace NAFTA if talks with Canada for a three-way pact fall through.
Despite what the calendar says, North American Free Trade Agreement talks are not over yet. President Donald Trump sent a notification letter to Congress on Friday of his intent to sign a new trade agreement with Mexico, and possibly Canada, by the end of November.
Negotiators from the United States and Mexico have been meeting consistently for the past month in an effort to resolve the remaining issues between the two countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement by the end of the month.
Over the summer, the American Feed Industry Association participated in an International Standards Organization (ISO) meeting that continues the process of seeking input from global feed equipment representatives on international standards for the safety of feed machinery.
Given the current tariff developments between the United States and China, working level interactions between the two governments have become strained. With that, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) is not likely to conduct its systems-based audit of the feed additive and premix industry this year.
On July 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a Federal Register notice requesting input on the United States' latest proposed list of Chinese products, valued at $200 billion,that could be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff.
Earlier this month, the head of the American Feed Industry Association spoke before the Codex Alimentarius Commission to defend the processes that enable the commission to move forward with science-based decisions, in light of recent countries' actions to stop progress on veterinary drug products in the approval process.
In response to its investigation into China's unfair trading practices, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in July imposed its first set of tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. In retaliation, China simultaneously imposed a 25 percent additional tariff on a number of U.S. products, including pet food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion plan this week that would provide temporary relief to farmers and ranchers affected by what they call "illegal trade actions" by other countries, which USDA estimates as an $11 billion impact on the agriculture industry.
On Tuesday evening, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it was ready to tack on 10 percent tariffs to another $200 billion-worth of Chinese imports. There are a number of products on this list that may pose a concern for those that import certain feed ingredients from China. The American Feed Industry Association will be commenting on the proposed tariff list and asks members to provide input by July 17 on which proposed products on the list are of concern and to what extent.
Representatives from AFIA's International Trade Committee and staff attended the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council's annual Attaché Consultations and Seminar this week in Washington, D.C., where they had the opportunity to meet with various U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Attaché posted overseas to discuss market challenges and opportunities for the U.S. animal food industry.
While the world's attention has been focused on the United States and China trading tariff threats, several nations, including the European Union, are ready to slap retaliatory tariffs against U.S. imports over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. Amid these issues, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week said North American Free Trade Agreement 2.0 negotiations will continue over the summer.
At an event this week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told farmers that he realizes their concerns about taking China on in a trade war, but also that the Donald Trump administration needed to follow through with its plans in the country's best interest.
In March, President Donald Trump signed executive orders enacting tariffs on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 actions, sparking retaliation in the form of tariffs from countries such as Mexico, Canada, the EU and China.
President Donald Trump announced Friday he will move forward with 25 percent tariffs on Chinese technology imports worth roughly $50 billion. The move ramps up trade tensions between the two countries, especially as Chinese government officials have indicated that the country will respond in kind to the American tariffs.
In a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit last week, President Donald Trump said he discussed breaking up the North American Free Trade Agreement into two separate deals between the United States and Canada and the United States and Mexico.
Last week, the American Feed Industry Association submitted a Unified Export Strategy to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, formally requesting international Market Access Program (MAP) funding for 2019. This is AFIA's first time submitting such a request.
On Thursday, the Donald Trump administration said it will impose new duties on steel and aluminum imports from three key trading partners - the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs fulfill the United States' promise to either reach individual deals with the countries to address national security concerns or face steep repercussions in the form of tariffs. In addition, on Tuesday, the White House announced even more trade restrictions and tariffs on China, ending a sort-of "truce" between the two countries.
Little progress has been made on the most complex issues of the North American Free Trade Agreement, as recent talks between the U.S., Mexico and Canada have shown the United States remains unwilling to offer important concessions to Mexico and Canada.
This week, China said it would impose a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion worth of American exports, including many of America's most dominant agricultural commodities, such as soybeans, wheat, corn, beef and orange juice.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said today there could be some "wiggle room" for the administration to get a North American Free Trade Agreement deal passed in Congress this year if the U.S. International Trade Commission shortens the time it takes to conduct a required economic analysis of any final agreement.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Tuesday that the chances of getting a North American Free Trade Agreement passed in Congress this year would shrink if the United States, Mexico and Canada can't reach a deal in the next two weeks. Congress is running out of time on the legislative calendar, as it has much more to do before entering full-time campaign mode.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reopened the public comment period for the proposed amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) for the National Organic Program. The additional 30-day comment period will close May 14.
Since 2015, the American Feed Industry Association has been working with the U.S. government to expand access for the feed additives and premix segment and the resulting requirements for export to China. On March 1, China's General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), which oversees the country's program for importing and exporting products, published a list of traditionally traded products, clarifying some of the ambiguity around the products that are permitted for import into the country.
As the respective trade teams gathered in Washington, D.C., last weekend for ministerial talks, Mexican negotiators said there is an 80 percent chance a new agreement could be in hand by late May, and Canada is praising "good progress."
Commodity, producer groups and other industry stakeholders spoke out this week pleading for the White House to dial back its trade war with China in hopes of preserving access to this growing Asian marketplace.
U.S. and South Korean leaders have reached a renegotiation agreement on a free trade agreement, at least in principle. For many in agriculture, there was more to lose than gain in the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) renegotiation effort. The United States is the largest supplier of beef to Korea and the second largest pork supplier.
The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is entering a new phase of intensive engagement at the top ministerial level, Mexico's chief negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos tweeted on Tuesday. The last formal negotiating round ended early last month, and it remains unclear whether another official round will be held. Another round had been expected to be held in the Washington area sometime next week, but sources close to the talks have since said that it may be delayed further.
"When trade works for more people, alongside giving a boost to the economy, it drives up incomes in poor areas, promotes domestic food security, protects the environment, improves public health and empowers women."
The 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, which President Donald Trump announced earlier this month, take effect today. However, on Thursday, White House officials announced that temporary exclusions will apply for Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Europe, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.
Lawmakers have reached a final agreement to fix a section of the new tax law that created huge financial incentives for farmers to sell their products to agricultural co-ops. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who holds the third-highest ranking Republican leadership post, said the deal to fix Section 199Ahas been circulating among lawmakers and industry stakeholders this week. He believes the legislative language is done and just needs sign-off from key negotiators before going public.
Thursday, President Donald Trump unveiled a plan to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, with provisional exceptions for Canada and Mexico. The tariffs could trigger a trade war with the European Union, China and other countries unless they are also exempted.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a landslide victory for the animal food manufacturing industry and American agriculture as a whole. Animal food exports have grown from approximately $500 million to Canada and Mexico in 1994, to over $3 billion today. NAFTA has expanded our market access, reduced tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and increased profits for the animal food manufacturing industry.
Just before Christmas, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a campaign promise made by many Republicans to reform the tax code and reduce taxes for individuals and businesses. However, in writing the tax code, there was an unintended error with regard to Section 199A.
In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his desire to renegotiate the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), in large part due to the trade deficit the country has with South Korea. Trump made it clear he is looking to improve U.S. market access for exports and decrease the United States' trade deficit. As a result of two rounds of discussions between U.S. and Korean delegations in the second half of 2017, the two countries agreed to address implementation issues under, and potential amendments to, KORUS. On Jan. 5, the two countries held their first official talks in Washington, D.C., where they focused on eliminating non-tariff barriers in the auto sector and other sector-specific barriers impacting U.S. exports.