policy issues

Global Competitiveness Related News

May 16, 2019
New Chinese Tariffs Deal Blow to US Animal Food Exports
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.
May 16, 2019
US and Canada Inch Closer to an Agreement
There are signs that the U.S. and Canada are getting closer to an agreement that could clear the way for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to go to Congress.
May 16, 2019
Timeline of U.S./China Tariff Dispute
Timeline of U.S./China Tariff Dispute
May 2, 2019
Ag: A Focal Point of Japan?US Trade Discussion
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.
May 2, 2019
Two Steps Forward, One Step Backward on USMCA
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.
April 19, 2019
International Trade Commission Releases Report on USMCA
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.
April 19, 2019
Japan and U.S. Begin Trade Talks
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.
April 19, 2019
EU Trade Talks Get a Green Light
On Monday, a council representing European Union countries signed an official mandate to allow trade talks with the U.S. to begin, and as expected, the mandate does not include agriculture.
April 5, 2019
Closing the Mexico Border and the Future of USMCA
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.
April 5, 2019
US and China Inch Closer to a Deal
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.
March 22, 2019
ICYMI: Last Weeks' Legislative and Regulatory Review
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).
March 22, 2019
Good News from Brazil and Progress on China
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, 2019
March 2019 Legislative and Regulatory Review
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).
March 8, 2019
USDA Forum Discusses Ongoing Regulatory, Trade Barriers Facing Ag Community
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.
March 8, 2019
USMCA Debate Continues
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.
March 8, 2019
Board Tackles Trade Barriers, Ingredient Approvals on Capitol Hill
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.
March 4, 2019
March 2019 BOD Pocket Card
Pocket card used at March 2019 AFIA Board of Directors' Hill visits.
March 4, 2019
March 2019 BOD Issue Papers
Issue papers used at March 2019 AFIA Board of Directors meeting.
February 8, 2019
Trump's State of the Union Address Focuses on Trade, Other Policy Issues
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.
January 25, 2019
AFIA Concerned about Missed Opportunities for Trade with the EU
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.
January 25, 2019
All Things China
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.
January 25, 2019
AFIA Calls for Greater Regulatory Harmonization Between the U.S. and Canada
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.
January 11, 2019
China and the U.S. Resume Trade Discussions
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.
January 11, 2019
European Union Trade Talks Heat Up
The conversation surrounding a trade deal with the European Union has been getting louder for some time, and it has agricultural stakeholders concerned.
January 11, 2019
AFIA Provides New Resource to Help Members Understand Import Requirements for Feed Ingredients
The American Feed Industry Association has developed a new Frequently Asked Questions document for members importing feed and ingredients.
December 14, 2018
Farmers Still Waiting for Second Round of Trade Aid
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.
December 14, 2018
Could Tensions be Thawing Between the U.S. and China?
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.
December 14, 2018
AFIA Voices Concerns on Potential U.S.-EU 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.
November 30, 2018
China Trade Deal Possible?
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.
November 30, 2018
AFIA Voices Concerns on Potential U.S.-Japan Trade Negotiations
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.
November 16, 2018
IFIF-FAO Continue Partnership to Ensure Safe Global Feed, Food Supply
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.
November 2, 2018
AFIA Board Discusses Latest Policy Priorities
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. 
November 2, 2018
More Trade Aid Is on the Way
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed that there will be more trade aid coming to farmers being hurt by the ongoing trade war. 
October 19, 2018
AFIA's International Trade Committee Meets with Key Government Agencies
Last week, AFIA's International Trade Committee discussed a variety of market challenges and opportunities for the U.S. animal food industry at its annual fall meeting.
October 5, 2018
NAFTA Has a New Name: USMCA
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.
September 21, 2018
China-US Trade Spat Continues
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.
September 21, 2018
Canadian Trade Talks on NAFTA Continue
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.
September 7, 2018
NAFTA Talks Continue
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.
August 24, 2018
US-China Trade War Continues
The United States and China's trade relationship may never be the same, even if the trade tensions between the two countries eventually cool off.
August 24, 2018
NAFTA: Is the End in Sight?
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.
August 10, 2018
AFIA Provides Input on Feed Machinery Safety Standards at ISO Meeting
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.
August 10, 2018
More Tariffs as Trade War Escalates
On Tuesday, the Trump administration finalized a list of $16 billion in goods from China that will begin facing a 25 percent tariff on Aug. 23.
August 10, 2018
China's Feed Additive and Premix Facility Registration Update
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.
August 10, 2018
AFIA Calls on Members to Help Address Concerns from Escalating US, China 'Trade War'
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.
July 27, 2018
AFIA Implores Codex to Follow Procedures that Promote Science-Based Decision-Making
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.
July 27, 2018
Tariffs Raise Concern for Pet Food Exports
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.
July 27, 2018
USDA Announces Trade Mitigation Plan
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.
July 13, 2018
The US Versus China Trade War Continues
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.
July 13, 2018
AFIA Staff, Committee Members Attend Trade Seminar
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.
June 29, 2018
NAFTA Renegotiation to Resume in July
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.
June 29, 2018
Keeping China's Feet to the Fire
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.
June 29, 2018
AFIA Supports Bill that Requires Congressional Sign-Off on Section 232 Tariffs
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.
June 15, 2018
The US Turns Up the Heat on 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.
June 15, 2018
NAFTA Future Still Murky
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.
June 15, 2018
AFIA Seeks Funds that Support Efforts for Increasing Access to International Markets
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.
June 1, 2018
Trump Administration Doubles Down on Trade Threats
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.
June 1, 2018
Mexican Officials Visit U.S. Feed Mill
Last week, Mexican officials visited a United Animal Health feed mill in Kalona, Iowa.
June 1, 2018
NAFTA Talks Stall
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.
June 1, 2018
China Takes Aim at US Agriculture
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.
May 18, 2018
NAFTA Deal Could Happen This Year
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.
May 4, 2018
NAFTA Deal May be Fast Approaching
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.
April 20, 2018
USDA Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Changes to Organic Program's National List
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.
April 20, 2018
China Publishes List of Feed Additives, Premixes Approved for Import
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.
April 20, 2018
NAFTA 2.0 On The Horizon?
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."
April 6, 2018
U.S.-China Trade War: Ag Industry Speaks Out & Preps for What's Next
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.
April 6, 2018
KORUS Nears Renegotiation Agreement
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.
April 6, 2018
NAFTA Talks Evolving
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.
April 6, 2018
Roll-Out of the International Feed Manual Recognized as a Success
"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."
March 23, 2018
White House Offers Temporary Exemptions to Countries for Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
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.
March 9, 2018
Lawmakers Agree on a Tax Fix
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.
March 9, 2018
Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Worry Ag Industry
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.
February 23, 2018
Show Your Support for the North American Free Trade Agreement
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.
February 23, 2018
Congress Works Toward Section 199A Fix
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.
January 12, 2018
AFIA Seeks Input from Industry on the Renegotiation of KORUS
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.