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Retailers Back Bill Requiring Congressional Review of Tariff Hikes

The National Retail Federation welcomed legislation introduced today that would strengthen congressional authority over tariff increases like those imposed by the Trump administration during the past year.

“We agree with the need to deliver fair and balanced trade deals, but taxing Americans isn’t the answer — especially without a single vote from Congress,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “At a time when American businesses and consumers are facing unprecedented tariffs imposed unilaterally, it’s time to reexamine the appropriate balance on trade policy between Congress and the executive branch. This legislation represents an important step forward. We urge members of both parties to join this effort and protect hardworking Americans from...

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Jun 26 8:16 AM, General News



Strengthening the U.S.-Kenya Trade Relationship to Grow U.S. Agricultural Exports to East Africa

Kenya is an emerging middle-income country and has one of the best performing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. It serves as the commercial hub for East Africa, with coastal ports that allow for imports to be received and transported to landlocked neighbors. Kenya relies heavily on imported food and farm products, much of which the United States produces competitively. In 2018, Kenya imported $2.5 billion of agricultural products from the world.

While the country’s global imports of food and agricultural products has trended upwards, its imports from the United States have remained steady, resulting in a reduced U.S. market share as other nations increase exports to Kenya. Indonesia is currently the top agricultural exporter to Kenya.

The United States is looking to strengthen its trade relationship with Kenya and increase its agricultural exports to the country. Kenya currently boasts...

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Jun 24 11:12 AM, General News


NRF Warns USTR to Avoid Additional Tariffs, Releases Study on Consumer Impact

The National Retail Federation today urged the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to avoid 25 percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods and released a new study examining key product categories and the negative impact on American consumers.

“We support efforts to achieve better trade deals, but American consumers shouldn’t be caught in the crosshairs,” NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French said during testimony prepared for a USTR hearing this afternoon. “It’s time to reevaluate a strategy based solely on tariffs and work with our allies to put international pressure on China.”

“For most of the consumer products on this list, there are very few alternative sources of supply,” French added. “It would be impossible for all market participants in our industry to...

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Jun 21 11:50 AM, General News


Chairman Roberts Hears from Administration on Current, Future Ag Trade Efforts

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today held a hearing titled, “Certainty in Global Markets for the U.S. Agriculture Sector.”

Below are Chairman Roberts’ remarks as prepared for delivery:

"Good morning. I call this meeting of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry to order.

Ambassador Doud, Undersecretary McKinney, and Dr. Johansson, we are happy to have you all back again before the Committee to discuss the need for certainty in our global agricultural markets...

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Jun 13 11:48 AM, General News


EU Plans for U.S. Specific Quota on High-Quality Beef Imports

The European Union (EU) plans to provide the U.S. with a country-specific quota for high-quality beef imports, according to a report from Australian trade publication Beef Central. The U.S. Trade Representative and the European Commission reached an agreement in March to grant the U.S. a country-specific share of the 45,000 metric tons duty-free quota. The U.S. will receive an initial allocation of 18,500 tons from the 45,000 tons EU grainfed quota, increasing to 35,000 tons over the next seven years, according to the report. The other major suppliers, Uruguay, Australia and Argentina will share the remainder of the quota volume. Consultations with these other suppliers have now occurred and the next step in the process is for the European Commission to formally begin...

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Jun 13 9:49 AM, General News


U.S. Pork Producers Seek Main Course, Not Crumbs

Expanding U.S. export markets is vital to the success of American pork producers, but trade disputes with some of our top markets, most notably China, are hampering growth and have caused severe financial harm to U.S. hog farmers, National Pork Producers Council Vice President and Counsel of Global Government Affairs Nick Giordano said today at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C.

“Mostly because of free trade agreements, the United States is the leading global exporter of pork. As a result, U.S. pork is an attractive candidate for trade retaliation. America’s hog farmers – and many other sectors of U.S. agriculture...

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Jun 12 8:23 AM, General News


NAMI Joins More than 950 Groups to Call for Swift Congressional Ratification of the USMCA

The North American Meat Institute today joined more than 950 organizations representing the U.S. food and agriculture industries to urge Members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

In a letter sent to Congress, more than 950 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels called on Congress to support the ratification of USMCA. The letter reiterates that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices...

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Jun 11 11:58 AM, General News


April Beef and Pork Exports Below 2018 Levels; Lamb Still Trending Higher

April exports of U.S. beef and pork were lower than a year ago while U.S. lamb exports continued their upward trend, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Beef exports totaled 105,241 metric tons (mt) in April, down 5% year-over-year, though export value was down only slightly at $674.2 million. For January through April, exports were 4% below last year’s record pace in volume (412,547 mt) and 1% lower in value ($2.58 billion).

On a per-head basis, beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $305.61 (down 7% from April 2018). The January-April average was $308.34 per head, down 3% from a year ago...

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Jun 7 2:15 PM, General News


Retailers Continue to Stock Up Inventory to Get Ahead of More Tariffs

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to continue to grow this summer as retailers stock up inventory to get ahead of higher tariffs, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“With a major tariff increase already announced and the possibility that tariffs could be imposed on nearly all goods and inputs from China, retailers are continuing to stock up while they can to protect their customers as much as possible against the price increases that will follow,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not foreign governments. Retailers will continue to do everything they possibly can to mitigate the impact of tariffs on consumers, but if we see further escalation in the trade war, it will be much more difficult to avoid higher price tags on a wide range of products...

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Jun 7 12:30 PM, General News


Technavio: Global Poultry Market Projected to Grow 

The global poultry meat market is expected to post a CAGR of about 4% during the period 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio.

A key factor driving the growth of the global poultry meat market is the increasing import and export of poultry meat. Various countries have increased the import of chicken meat in recent years. For instance, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China, and Iraq were some of the key importers of chicken meat during 2018. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the import of chicken meat from emerging economies including Philippines owing to the rising demand for chicken meat among the consumers. Therefore, the rising export of chicken meat from...

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Jun 4 8:27 AM, General News


Beef Quarterly Q2 2019: Changing of the Guard in the Beef Trimmings Market

The world’s largest beef importer, China, is at the centre of growth in beef trade in general, and trimmings trade specifically. Many of the cuts imported by China have been to satisfy the local cuisine. But as diets and foodservice change, this now includes a growing trend in trimmings trade.

The growing demand for trimmings from Asian countries will create additional competition for the US but it is not expected to shift the market yet. Suppliers of trimmings into the global market should be conscious of possible changes in the trade. While steady growth is evident in the Chinese market to date, a short-term demand increase across all proteins as a result of African Swine Fever will likely cause a spike in demand for trimmings...

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May 31 11:03 AM, General News


NPPC Appeal: Let's Move Forward with USMCA, Leave Tariffs at Zero

In response to President Trump’s plan to impose five percent tariffs on all Mexican imports as of June 10, 2019, David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina, issued the following statement:

“We appeal to President Trump to reconsider plans to open a new trade dispute with Mexico. American pork producers cannot afford retaliatory tariffs from its largest export market, tariffs which Mexico will surely implement. Over the last year, trade disputes with Mexico and China have cost hard-working U.S. pork producers and their families approximately $2.5 billion.

“Let’s move forward with ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, preserving zero-tariff pork trade in North America for the long term; complete a trade agreement with Japan; and resolve...

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May 31 9:35 AM, General News


Senators Raise Concerns that USDA Trade Aid will Continue to Benefit Foreign Corporations

Nine U.S. Senators, led by Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, today raised concerns that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue to allow foreign companies to profit from the Trump Administration’s plan to assist American farmers affected by their trade policies.

Last week, the Administration announced it would provide up to $1.4 billion to purchase commodities targeted by retaliatory tariffs. In the previous round of aid, lucrative purchasing contracts were awarded to several foreign entities, including nearly $62.5 million in pork products from JBS USA, which is owned by Brazilian parent company JBS SA.

“…It is counterproductive and contradictory for these companies to receive assistance paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars intended to help American farmers struggling with this Administration’s trade policy,” the Senators wrote...

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May 30 9:56 AM, General News


United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Pays Dividends to American Farmers and Exporters

The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) entered into force on May 15, 2012, laying the foundation for a surge in U.S. agricultural exports. Since 2012, U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia nearly tripled from $1.1 billion to $2.9 billion in 2018. Despite its geographic proximity to major U.S. competitors Brazil and Argentina, Colombia, the third-largest economy in South America, purchases half of its agricultural imports from the United States. Preferential access from CTPA and a strong Colombian economy have allowed the United States to increase its market share from 19 percent prior to CTPA, to 50 percent in 2018. Changing demographics, a growing middle-class, and consumer trends toward more modern retail outlets is expected to keep demand strong into the future for high-quality U.S. agricultural exports.

Colombian Macro-economic Trends and Changing Demographics

In addition to CPTA, political stability and a dynamic economy have contributed to Colombia becoming the United States’ 12th-largest destination for agricultural exports, up from...

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May 29 10:13 AM, General News


Perdue Responds to UGA Study on USMCA

The University of Georgia recently published a study claiming the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement would cost some Georgia vegetable and fruit growers revenue and jobs. The sensational assertions are flat wrong. As a proud UGA alumnus, I’m here to tell you USMCA is good for Georgia’s farmers and all American agriculture.

Chapter by chapter, verse by verse, USMCA improves virtually every component of NAFTA and Georgia’s agriculture industry stands to gain significantly. It’s important to note we didn’t get all the improvements we wanted for seasonal fruits and vegetables. While we were hopeful we could make progress in the renewed NAFTA, USMCA isn’t a step backward. The UGA study assumed we lost ground, but the facts are it wasn’t ground we had to begin with. Since the inception of NAFTA more than 20 years ago, agricultural trade between our three countries has...

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May 29 10:04 AM, General News


USDA Announces Support for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation and Trade Disruption

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, the President has authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. These programs will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing...

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May 24 8:35 AM, Urner Barry


Canada, US Agree on Safe Trade Zones in Event of African Swine Fever Outbreak

Today, Canada's Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Dr. Jaspinder Komal, working in collaboration with the United States' CVO, Dr. Jack Shere, issued the following statement:

We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have agreed to allow safe trade to continue in the event African swine fever (ASF) is reported in either country.

For business continuity, Canada and the United States have worked to modify their export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat to continue trade in approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak. This builds on Canada and...

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May 23 9:28 AM, General News


Restaurant Food Costs: What does ASF Mean for Protein Prices in the US?

Rabobank expects food costs in the US to increase in the second half of the year, as protein prices are impacted by stronger export demand following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Pork and chicken prices will be the most impacted. Beef will be the last to see increases materialize, but QSR patty prices are expected to be the most vulnerable component. If a trade agreement with China were to be brokered, price increases would be faster and steeper.

Restaurants Should Expect Rising Protein Prices

For the past two years, restaurants have been favored by a relatively benign food cost environment, which helped compensate for rising costs in other areas (labor, real estate). We expect this situation to change (for proteins) towards the second half of the year and...

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May 22 9:12 AM, General News


Industry Reacts to U.S. Lifting Metal Tariffs on Canada and Mexico 

On Friday, the United States and Canada announced a deal to remove tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in exchange for keeping dumped metals from China and other countries out of the United States, paving the way for a similar pact with Mexico. The quota-free deal eliminated the U.S. metal tariffs as well as Canada's retaliatory tariffs on about $12 billion worth of U.S. products, including pork and beef. The 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum from Canada and Mexico were a major hurdle to ratification of the new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated that Congress should swiftly move to ratify the USMCA after the Section 232 Tariffs were removed from Canada and Mexico. "The announcement is a big win for American agriculture and the economy as a whole. I thank President Trump for negotiating a great deal and for negotiating the removal of these tariffs...

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May 21 8:14 AM, Urner Barry


U.S. Beef Gains Full Access to Japan

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, paving the way for expanded sales to the United States’ top global beef market. Last week, on the margins of the G-20 Agriculture Ministerial Meeting in Niigata, Japan, Secretary Perdue met with Japanese government officials and affirmed the importance of science-based trade rules. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003.

“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Secretary Perdue said. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help...

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May 17 11:30 AM, General News


Latest Tariff List is ‘Far too Great a Gamble for the U.S. Economy,’ says NRF

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay after the Trump administration released a list of $300 billion of Chinese goods that will be targeted by additional tariffs of 25 percent.

“We support the administration’s efforts to deliver a meaningful trade agreement that levels the playing field for American businesses and workers. But the latest tariff escalation is far too great a gamble for the U.S. economy. Slapping tariffs on everything U.S. companies import from China – goods that support U.S. manufacturing and provide consumers with affordable products – will jeopardize American jobs and increase costs for consumers.

“Taxing Americans on everyday products like clothes and shoes is not the answer for holding China accountable. Working with our allies who share the same concerns and immediately rejoining TPP are more effective ways to put pressure on China without...

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May 15 9:53 AM, General News


First Quarter Beef, Pork Exports below Last Year’s Pace; Lamb Exports Trend Higher

For the first quarter of 2019, U.S. beef exports were slightly below last year’s record pace while pork exports continued to be slowed by trade barriers, according to March data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. lamb exports were a first quarter bright spot, trending significantly higher than a year ago.

March beef exports totaled 107,655 metric tons (mt), down 4% year-over-year, while value fell 2% to $678 million. For the first quarter, exports were down 3% at 307,306 mt valued at $1.9 billion (down 0.8%).

March beef exports were very strong on a per-head basis, with export value per head of fed slaughter averaging $335.81 – up 1% from a year ago and the highest since December...

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May 13 2:16 PM, General News




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