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Trade Policy

Trade Agreements

Set Alert for Trade Agreements

Day ahead – April 2, 2020: Global food prices fall, USDA boosts sugar imports, China ag buys

Global food prices posted sharp declines in March according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Meanwhile, USDA announced moves to boost sugar imports amid tight supplies and China ag purchases were more muted in the latest update from USDA.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

Senate Finance Committee leaders push for USMCA delay due to COVID-19

The start date for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be delayed from the current June 1 target to ensure that implementation is not negatively impacted by demands on businesses, regulators and governments posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, several members of the Senate Finance Committee urged in a March 30 letter to US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

Appellate Body workaround agreement formalized by EU, 15 other WTO members

A formal interim appeal arbitration agreement, meant to serve as workaround for dispute appeals as the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body remains suspended, was unveiled Friday (March 27) by the European Union (EU) and 15 other WTO members.

US Agricultural Policy European Agricultural Policy

Day ahead – March 26, 2020: Tariff relief, China ag buys, restaurant closures due to COVID-19

A group of Senate Finance Committee Republicans is calling on President Donald Trump to take several actions on the trade front, including tariff waivers on medical products and broadening tariff exemptions. Meanwhile, USDA data shows China continuing to purchase an array of US ag products and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) detailed restaurant closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

US, China poultry regionalization agreement, other Phase One export actions in place

The US and China signed a poultry regionalization agreement allowing US poultry exports to continue in the event a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) or Newcastle disease outbreak hits here, one of several recent milestones USDA and the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) detailed in an update on implementation of the Phase One US-China trade deal.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

Day ahead – March 23, 2020: FDA guidance, Dean Foods sale, FSIS export library, COVID-19 infection at WFP

FDA announced all guidance documents related to coronavirus will be considered final and will be published without public comment. Meanwhile, Dean Foods undid its designation of Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) as the lead bidder at a planned bankruptcy sale, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) updated its Export Library to reflect the Phase One US-China deal and World Food Programme (WFP) Director David has tested positive for COVID-19.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy
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Trade Disputes

Set Alert for Trade Disputes

COVID-19: Keep agri-food products and workers moving across borders worldwide

The Directors General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are urging governments worldwide to keep agri-food products and workers moving across borders during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

European Food Law European Agricultural Policy

Appellate Body workaround agreement formalized by EU, 15 other WTO members

A formal interim appeal arbitration agreement, meant to serve as workaround for dispute appeals as the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body remains suspended, was unveiled Friday (March 27) by the European Union (EU) and 15 other WTO members.

US Agricultural Policy European Agricultural Policy

Day ahead – March 26, 2020: Tariff relief, China ag buys, restaurant closures due to COVID-19

A group of Senate Finance Committee Republicans is calling on President Donald Trump to take several actions on the trade front, including tariff waivers on medical products and broadening tariff exemptions. Meanwhile, USDA data shows China continuing to purchase an array of US ag products and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) detailed restaurant closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

Ag groups keep up push on lawmakers over CCC borrowing authority

Replenishing and expanding USDA’s borrowing authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is essential for the department to effectively “help farmers and ranchers survive” the economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, 48 ag groups stressed in a letter to House and Senate leaders.

US Agricultural Policy Farm Policy & Programs

COVID-19 pandemic, oil price war ‘potentially catastrophic’ for ethanol industry: RFA

A “perfect tsunami” of factors – the coronavirus pandemic, oil price war and impact of small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – have combined to create a “potentially catastrophic” downturn for the US ethanol sector Renewable Fuels Association (RFS) President and CEO Jeff Cooper said during a media briefing Thursday (March 19) including other RFA officials and industry leaders.

US Agricultural Policy Biofuels

Looming labor shortage the top issue for Farm Bureau as COVID-19 spreads

Ensuring continued access to foreign guestworkers through the H-2A visa program amid the COVID-19 pandemic response is paramount for the US ag sector, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) officials emphasized in a press briefing Wednesday (March 18).

US Agricultural Policy Farm Policy & Programs
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Traceability and Supply Chain

Set Alert for Traceability and Supply Chain

Day ahead – April 2, 2020: Global food prices fall, USDA boosts sugar imports, China ag buys

Global food prices posted sharp declines in March according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Meanwhile, USDA announced moves to boost sugar imports amid tight supplies and China ag purchases were more muted in the latest update from USDA.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

DFA winning bidder for most Dean Foods’ assets pending court approval

Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) emerged as the winning bidder for “substantially all” of Dean Foods' assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction, moving the acquisition closer to the finish line. 

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

EPA vehicle standards a ‘missed opportunity,’ say biofuel proponents

Relaxed fuel vehicle efficiency standards finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) represent a “missed opportunity” to increase biofuel use by adopting a higher minimum octane standard for gasoline and new incentives for vehicles that can use higher ethanol blends, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and National Farmers Union (NFU).

US Agricultural Policy Biofuels
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Geographical Indications

Set Alert for Geographical Indications

US dairy interests warn of risks from EU use of GIs

The US dairy industry is urging lawmakers to work with the White House to address the growing use of geographic indicators (GIs) by the EU and other countries to limit trade, warning that the issue is posing major headaches for dairy farmers and other US ag and food interests.

US Food Policy US Agricultural Policy

Blockchain can improve traceability across the food supply chain – Smart Farming event

EU officials and farming representatives have highlighted the potential of blockchain applications to improve traceability and market transparency across the food supply chain.

EU European Agricultural Policy

USDA’s Perdue: Not clear coronavirus will impact China buys of US ag goods

It is unclear whether the coronavirus outbreak may affect China’s ag purchase commitments under the Phase One US-China trade deal, according to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue in a call today (Jan. 29) intended to update on US and European Union (EU) trade discussions this week.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy
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Labelling

Set Alert for Labelling

USDA resisting calls to extend deadlines for GMO disclosure rule

USDA is in no rush to grant requests to delay the compliance dates for its GMO disclosure rule, an official with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) told attendees of a Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) conference on Thursday (March 26).

US Food Policy US Agricultural Policy

FSIS ready to wrangle US beef identity label claims

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) plans to launch a rulemaking to clarify US beef origin labeling regulations, agreeing with concerns that consumers are currently confused by label claims like “Product of USA” and “Made in the USA.”

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy

Day ahead – March 25, 2020: EPA declines to appeal SRE decision, COVID-19 guidance for restaurants, extension sought for milk rule comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not appear to have appealed a 10th Circuit Court ruling that invalidated some small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Meanwhile, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has created a new guide to help restaurants navigate coronavirus restrictions and dairy producers are asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to extend the comment period on a rule involving the use of ultra-filtered (UF) milk in cheesemaking.

US Agricultural Policy US Food Policy
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