In this file:


·         China Deal Nears Finish Line, New Snags For USMCA

·         Vice president visits Indiana: Urges Congress to act on USMCA

·         Trump Says Trade Talks with China “Rounding the Turn”



China Deal Nears Finish Line, New Snags For USMCA


By Anna-Lisa Laca, Farm Journal's Milk, Online and Business Editor

via AgWeb - Apr 8, 2019


As farmers await completion of two trade agreements that will undoubtedly impact the farm economy, one analyst says a deal with China is just a month from completion. Meanwhile, politics are the reason for a new snag on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement ratification.


“I think we're more I think we're down the homestretch [on China],” Randy Russell of the Russell Group told AgriTalk host Chip Flory. “I think if I likened it to running a one-mile race, we're in the last lap, and probably very frankly, headed into the final curve.”


Some of the issues like intellectual property theft and the rules governing foreign investment have been causing problems for 20 years, according to Russell. He says it’s no surprise agreement has taken a bit longer than most people thought it would. 


“I think by May, probably by mid-May or so, we'll have we'll have a deal,” he said adding it will be great for U.S. agriculture. “If you go back to 2017, we were exporting about $20 billion to China. This year we're projected to be about $9 or $10 billion because of the tarriffs, etc. I think if you use $20 billion as a high-water mark, we will be northward of $30 billion, maybe as high as $40 billion, over the next three to five years after this agreement


When it comes to USMCA, the new NAFTA agreement, Russell isn’t as clear on the timeline. The key player: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


“She holds the cards. In the end, the administration is not going to send up implementing legislation until they know that she is going to schedule a vote,” he said. “The Trade Promotion Authority requires Congress, once the bill was introduced, to consider the vote within a certain period of time.It's got to be an up or down vote, unamendable. So you can't change the agreement. But she holds the cards in terms of whether it will be considered or not.”


Pelosi’s first request was that Mexico change their labor laws to bring it in compliance, something Russell said is likely. Now there's some talk that she would like to see changes in the end enforcement mechanisms, according to Russell.


“The problem is you can't change this agreement,” he said...


more, including audio [1:00 min.]



Vice president visits Indiana: Urges Congress to act on USMCA


Erica Quinlan, AgriNews Publications

Apr 8, 2019


LEBANON, Ind. — Vice President Mike Pence visited with Indiana growers April 4 to discuss trade and other farmer concerns.


The main topic discussed was the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.


“We negotiated a better deal for American farmers,” Pence said. “Now it’s time for Congress to act.


“We heard just this week, the Speaker of the House said that they may not bring up the USMCA. That is not acceptable. President Trump has done his job. It’s time for Congress to do their job and ratify the USMCA.


“There’s a real urgency here. Indiana agriculture, American agriculture, is feeling the strain of low commodity prices.”


A Farmer’s POV


Mark Legan, farmer and board member at Indiana Soybean Alliance, said that the future of his farm depends on exports.


Legan raises corn, soybeans and pigs in Putnam County.


“It’s not just for me,” he said. “My daughter and her husband are part of the farm. They have kids that they want to continue the farm beyond me. The only way that American farms are going to be viable in the future is if we have export markets.”


Legan would like the steel and aluminum tariffs to be removed ASAP to help his pork farm.


“Mexico’s had a 20% tariff on U.S. pork since last June, when the steel tariffs first went on,” he said. “Mexico is our No. 1 volume market for pork exports.


“When you look at Asia, Japan is our number one market in terms of value of pork products.”


Legan also is worried about America’s trade relationships with China...





Trump Says Trade Talks with China “Rounding the Turn”


By NAFB News Service

via Hoosier Ag Today - Apr 7, 2019


President Donald Trump said last week that trade talks with China “are rounding the turn” and that something “monumental” is coming in the next few weeks for both countries. During an appearance in the Oval Office with both negotiating teams, Trump said, “We have a way to go, but it’s not very far.” China’s top trade negotiator told Trump that “because of your direct involvement, we do have great progress.” An Associated Press report says U.S. and Chinese negotiators dove into their ninth round of negotiations midway through last week.


The report says the two countries have made significant progress on some of the more contentious issues in the discussions...