In this file:


·         USMCA tough fight in Congress with lingering steel, aluminum tariffs

·         Canadian and American ranchers anxiously await USMCA ratification — can we push it forward?



USMCA tough fight in Congress with lingering steel, aluminum tariffs

Legislative Watch: End tariffs on Mexico, China; trade advisory committees; Census of Agriculture; California, Massachusetts laws stand; America's Diverse Family Farms.


P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer 

Feb 08, 2019


President Trump in his State of the Union address called for unity and bipartisanship. During the speech he advocated for his trade policy saying that he would continue the pressure on China until it accepts U.S. demands to end the theft of intellectual property and address technology transfer issues. The U.S. and China have until March 1 to reach an agreement before Trump increases tariffs on Chinese goods. Another round of negotiations will be held in China next week.


Trump also asked Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. This will be a tough fight in Congress as long as the tariffs on steel and aluminum remain in place.


He also asked Congress to pass the “U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act” that would give him greater authority to use tariffs against countries. This legislation is not expected to go anywhere because of opposition and concerns by a number of business and agricultural groups regarding the current tariffs against our largest trading partners and the effects of their retaliatory tariffs.


End tariffs on Mexico and Canada


A group of business and agricultural associations are calling on the administration to lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico.


In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, the organizations said the “damage from the reciprocal trade actions in the steel dispute far outweighs any benefit that may accrue to them from the USMCA.”


A 2018 study by the Farm Foundation found that continuing the tariffs on Canada and Mexico after implementation of USMCA would cost U.S. agriculture $1.8 billion in lost exports.


Those signing the letter included the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Chemistry Council, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Pork Producers Council, National Retailers Association, North American Meat Institute, U.S. Grains Council and U.S. Meat Export Federation.


USTR-USDA trade advisory committees ...


USDA reschedules Census of Agriculture ...


California, Massachusetts animal welfare laws stand ...


America’s Diverse Family Farms ...





Canadian and American ranchers anxiously await USMCA ratification — can we push it forward?


Real Agriculture

February 8, 2019


There’s not a lot of change between the existing North American Free Trade Agreement and the newly minted, United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) for Canada’s beef industry. And the political and producer group powers that be is OK with that but wants very much to see ratification move forward. In the absence of ratification, American and Canadian ranchers alike would prefer that NAFTA remain in force, as is.


That’s not a certainty, however, and that uncertainty is weighing on the minds of both the American and Canadian cattle industries.


John Masswohl, director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, has recently returned from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s annual meeting at New Orleans, LA. He says that USMCA essentially maintains the status quo from NAFTA, in regards to the cattle industry, and that’s OK — the next big step is ratification, and if there is a way for the industry to push ratification forward, they’d do it.


“If it takes awhile to implement, that’s OK, so long as the existing NAFTA stays in effect,” Masswohl says. That’s not a guarantee, as President Trump has threatened to use withdrawal from NAFTA to put pressure on congress, and he doesn’t make empty threats, according to Masswohl...