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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



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


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


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


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


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


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


NPPC Statement on Planned Trade Relief Package

The Trump administration today indicated it is planning a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. The following statement may be attributed to David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina and president of the National Pork Producers Council:

“U.S. pork has suffered from a disproportionate share of retaliation due to trade disputes with Mexico and China. This retaliation turned last year — which analysts had forecast to be profitable — into a very unprofitable time for U.S. pork producers. The financial pain continues...

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May 13 9:29 AM, General News


EU-U.S. Trade Talks Expected to Begin This Week

Negotiators from the European Union (EU) are in Washington this week to begin technical trade talks with the U.S., although both sides have not yet agreed to the scope of the discussions. This week's talks will mostly focus on regulatory cooperation ahead of a meeting between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom in Paris on May 22-23. Last month, the EU adopted negotiating directives on two agreements: a trade agreement limited to the elimination of tariffs for industrial goods only, excluding agricultural products, and an agreement on conformity assessment that would have as its objective the...

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May 10 8:24 AM, General News


Retail Imports Rising Ahead of Expected Higher Tariffs

With retail sales rising and President Trump saying he plans to both increase and broaden tariffs on goods from China, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see unusually high levels the remainder of this spring and through the summer, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Much of this is driven by consumer demand but retailers are likely to resume stocking up merchandise before new tariffs can take effect,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases and new tariffs will mean higher costs for U.S. businesses, higher prices for American consumers and lost jobs for many American workers. We encourage the administration to stay focused on a trade agreement, and...

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May 9 11:39 AM, General News


Retailers Respond to Administration’s Threat to Raise Tariffs

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to the President’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

“Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not by China. A sudden tariff increase with less than a week’s notice would severely disrupt U.S. businesses, especially small companies that have limited resources to mitigate the impact. If the administration follows through on this threat, American consumers will face higher prices and U.S. jobs will be lost.

“We want to see meaningful changes in China’s trade practices, but it makes no sense to punish Americans as a negotiating tactic. If the administration wants to put more pressure on China...

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May 6 2:08 PM, General News


United States Wins Dispute Finding China’s Grain Tariff-Rate Quotas Breaches WTO Commitments

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that China has administered its tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat, corn, and rice inconsistently with its WTO commitments. Contrary to those commitments, China’s TRQ administration is not transparent, predictable, or fair, and it ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain.

This panel report is the second significant victory for U.S. agriculture this year, and, together with the victory against China’s excessive domestic support for grains, will help ...

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Apr 18 11:18 AM, General News


USTR Proposes Products for Tariff Countermeasures in Response to Harm Caused by EU Aircraft Subsidies

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has found repeatedly that European Union (EU) subsidies to Airbus have caused adverse effects to the United States. Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) begins its process under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to identify products of the EU to which additional duties may be applied until the EU removes those subsidies.

USTR is releasing for public comment a preliminary list of EU products to be covered by additional duties. USTR estimates the harm from the EU subsidies as $11 billion in trade each year. The amount is subject to ...

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Apr 9 10:08 AM, General News


Retail Imports Rising Again as Summer Approaches

With tariff increases delayed for the foreseeable future and the busy summer season approaching, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are beginning to climb again, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Retailers are starting to stock up in anticipation of a strong summer,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Tariff increases are on hold and progress is being reported in talks between the United States and China, so the imports we’re seeing now are driven primarily by expectations for consumer demand.”

U.S. ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.62 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in February, the latest month for ...

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Apr 9 8:26 AM, General News




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