In this file:


·         Agriculture Reacts to Tariffs With Fear, ‘Profound Disappointment’

·         U.S. allies line up for exemptions from Trump's tariffs

·         Trade issues moving fast, possible retaliation not yet known

·         TPP Signed by 11 Participating Nations, Puts U.S. Wheat at a Trade Disadvantage



Agriculture Reacts to Tariffs With Fear, ‘Profound Disappointment’


By Natalina Sents, Successful Farming - 3/8/2018


President Donald Trump signed executive orders enacting new tariffs on Thursday, taking the next step toward fulfilling one of his campaign promises.


The order is expected to take effect within 15 days imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff for aluminum. For now, Canada and Mexico are exempt, but Trump said depending how NAFTA negotiations go, the arrangements could change.


“We’re sticking with 10 and 25 initially. I’ll have the right to go up or down depending on the country. And I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said.


According to a Reuters report on Thursday, officials in both Canada and Mexico indicated they wouldn’t be pressured by tariff threats as NAFTA talks continue.


Agriculture Reacts


In anticipation of the announcement, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the ag industry is “rightfully concerned” at a recent meeting at USDA headquarters. “There is probably some legitimate anxiety over the trade issues.”


A statement on Wednesday from the National Farmers Union said it is “concerned the administration’s tactics threaten U.S. relationships with top trading partners and, consequently, the ability of the country to establish fair trade policies.”


A recent Reuters report quoted U.S. farmers saying they feared a potential trade war. “These tariffs are very likely to accelerate a tit-for-tat approach on trade, putting U.S. agricultural exports in the cross-hairs,” said Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade.


The organization released a statement after the executive order was signed saying, “We expect that these tariffs will cause retaliation that will come out of the pockets of American farmers.” The statement concluded with a promise to demonstrate the negative effects of the tariffs in the upcoming months.


Iowa farmer and president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) John Heisdorffer called the tariffs “a disastrous course of action” echoing fears of retaliation from valuable trade partners.


Farmers aren’t the only ones frustrated by the new tariffs. “The equipment manufacturing industry is profoundly disappointed at President Trump’s actions today to advance import tariffs on steel and aluminum. Steel accounts for roughly 10% of equipment manufacturers’ direct costs,” explains a statement released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “The price of steel has already risen in anticipation of the administration’s actions, and a 25% tariff will only further erode the progress our industry has made over the past year.”


AEM says the tariffs put “manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage, risk undoing the strides our economy has made due to tax reform, and ultimately pose a threat to American workers’ jobs.”


Trade Partners Threaten Retaliation ...





U.S. allies line up for exemptions from Trump's tariffs


* Japan, EU deny their exports threaten U.S. national security

* “We are an ally, not a threat” - European Commission

* Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Australia also want waivers

* Chinese steelmakers demand retaliation on coal

* Trump calls cheap imports “an assault on our country”


By Robin Emmott, Ruby Lian and Aaron Sheldrick, Reuters

Mar 9, 2018


BRUSSELS/SHANGHAI/TOKYO, March 9 (Reuters) - From Japan and South Korea to Australia and Europe, officials lined up on Friday to seek exemptions from President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminium imports, while Chinese producers called on Beijing to retaliate in kind.


Tokyo and Brussels rejected any suggestion that their exports to the United States threatened its national security - Trump’s justification for imposing the tariffs despite warnings at home and abroad that they could provoke a global trade war.


“We are an ally, not a threat,” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said.


China’s metals industry issued the country’s most explicit threat yet in the row, urging the government to retaliate by targeting U.S. coal - a sector that is central to Trump’s political base and his election pledge to restore American industries and blue-collar jobs.


Trump signed an order for the 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminium at the White House on Thursday to counter cheap imports, especially from China, which he described as “an assault on our country”.


However, he said “real friends” of the United States could win waivers from the measures, which come into force after 15 days. In the event he exempted Canada and Mexico.


Brazil, which after Canada is the biggest steel supplier to the U.S. market, said it wanted to join the exemption list and Argentina made a similar case.


Japan, the United States’ top economic and military ally in Asia, was next in line. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan’s steel and aluminum shipments posed no threat to U.S. national security.


With Japan a major trade partner and international investor, Suga said that, on the contrary, they contributed greatly to employment and industry in the United States. Japan’s steel industry body also expressed concern.


The European Union, the world’s biggest trade bloc, chimed in...





Trade issues moving fast, possible retaliation not yet known

We got tax and regulation cuts. Now we have to deal with the bad Donald when it comes to trade.


Steve Dittmer, BEEF Magazine

Mar 09, 2018


Dittmer is a longtime industry commentator and principal of the Agribusiness Freedom Foundation.


Someone asked me a few days ago, “Who is Peter Navarro and why should I care?”


The answer then was that he had been demoted in the White House hierarchy months ago and free traders were very happy, because Navarro was probably the most protectionist economist in the country. Locked in the basement somewhere with no one listening to him was extremely beneficial to the economy and trade.


A couple days later, the answer changed completely. Navarro had been promoted, had obviously won the White House war over tariffs and President Trump jumped the gun and announced he was going to impose steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) tariffs.


On top of that, the President’s chief economic advisor, free trader Gary Cohn, decided losing the tariff argument was the final straw and announced he was resigning.


Even more distressing, the short list to replace Cohn included Navarro. It also includes, so the story goes, Larry Kudlow, who is certainly a free trader and a talented explainer of economics in real terms.


We did get one piece of good news personnel-wise in recent days. Gregg Doud, former chief economist for the NCBA and former staffer for Sen. Pat Roberts, got his confirmation vote on the Senate floor and will be installed as chief agriculture negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Having a free trade advocate with extensive knowledge of agriculture will help balance USTR Robert Lighthizer’s positions that are more protectionist.


Bad Donald? ...


Congressional support needed ...





TPP Signed by 11 Participating Nations, Puts U.S. Wheat at a Trade Disadvantage


Radio 570 WNAX (SD)

Mar 8, 2018


The 11 remaining countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership are signing the trade pact today, without the U.S. Following that six of the countries must still ratify the deal. U.S. Wheat Associates and NAWG are concerned about the deal and want the U.S. to re-enter TPP. Steve Mercer with U.S. Wheat Associates says they’ve sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative to prioritize accession to TPP to save the Japanese market.


He says once TPP 11 is signed and ratification is completed later this year, U.S. wheat will become more expensive verses competitors.


Mercer says once TPP 11 is fully in place Japan will seek wheat from other markets and leave the U.S. out...


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