In this file:


·         USMCA 'dead in the water,' Trump says, blaming Democrats

Pelosi hinted Thursday that the trade deal may not come up for a vote before the end of the year.


·         Trade update: USMCA stalled, China face-to-face talks possible

·         Phase One Trade Agreement May be Heading to 2020

·         Doubt Growing on USMCA Passing in 2019

·         China upbeat about trade talks, but Hong Kong policy might cause complications

·         Signal to Noise: Impeachment Plays a Role in USMCA Delay




USMCA 'dead in the water,' Trump says, blaming Democrats

Pelosi hinted Thursday that the trade deal may not come up for a vote before the end of the year.


By Paul Conner, FOXBusiness

Nov 24, 2019


The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is "dead in the water" in Congress, President Trump said Sunday morning.


"Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, AOC and the rest of the Democrats are not getting important legislation done, hence, the Do Nothing Democrats," Trump tweeted.


"USMCA, National Defense Authorization Act, Gun Safety, Prescription Drug Prices, & Infrastructure are dead in the water because of the Dems!" he said.


The tweet comes days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hinted that the trade deal may not come up for a vote before the end of the year.


"We don't want NAFTA with sugar on top," Pelosi said Thursday...





Trade update: USMCA stalled, China face-to-face talks possible

Recent moves by Chinese negotiators seem to indicate they’re ready to do a deal.


Steve Dittmer, Commentary, BEEF Magazine 

Nov 22, 2019


Dittmer is a longtime beef industry commentator and executive vice president of the Agribusiness Freedom Foundation.


The rhetoric on trade goes ‘round and ‘round and where it stops, nobody knows. Or so it seems.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now saying, contrary to a few days ago, that she doesn't know if there is time to get a vote on USMCA before the end of the year. However, she also had said if they got quick agreement with Lighthizer on enforcement issues, it might be possible.


After an hour-long meeting Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the Democrats narrowed their differences but did not reach agreement, according to Democrat leaders. The labor unions and the Democrats are pushing for more enforcement to make sure wages rise in Mexico and to lessen the incentives for American companies to move operations south.


Of course, given the crime and security issues alone in Mexico these days, it would seem unlikely for a big migration of companies now. Tax cuts for business and lessening regulation had to have helped bolster the case for staying put in the U.S.


But given that the Democrats have burned so many bridges with business, middle class and working class folks and agriculture, they are likely loath to offend the labor unions and lose their support and contributions, too.


Two developments on the U.S.-China front have occurred. China’s point man on trade, Vice Premier Liu He, has invited Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to Beijing for a face-to-face meeting to try to get over the two countries’ trade impasse.


The U.S. is said to be reluctant to commit to a trip to Beijing unless China agrees to some commitments over intellectual property, forced technology transfer and agricultural commodity purchases. China wants to have the meeting before Thanksgiving.


That’s a pretty quick scheduling feat for international leaders. Makes one wonder if maybe the Chinese are a little bit more receptive to a deal, as President Trump has claimed all along.


China has recently cleared 13 new plants in Brazil to export pork to China and ended bans on U.S. poultry.  We haven’t yet seen the latest export data from the U.S., after big shipments in July and August.


It is significant that apparently the Trump team is pushing to go into forced technology transfer in the phase one agreement. Only some aspects of intellectual property protection have been confirmed before.


While China doesn’t use the term “forced technology transfer” as a requirement to doing business in China, they have expressed willingness to discuss “market access” for foreign companies. Evidently, the Trump team is taking them up on that lead.


Interestingly, the same Chinese official who indicated the U.S. had agreed to roll back some tariffs and delayed others—strictly denied by President Trump—is the one who announced that China was hoping to get a meeting in Beijing. While the two sides have been communicating regularly by phone, getting agreement on an in-person meeting seems like progress.


Other officials in the Chinese government have expressed extreme displeasure with the resolution supporting the pre-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong passed by Congress. The resolution passed both the House and Senate but has not been signed by President Trump.


So far, China seems to be handling its protesting of the resolution separately from the trade negotiations.  President Trump has expressed support for the Hong Kongers but also his support and friendship with China’s President Xi Jinping...





Phase One Trade Agreement May be Heading to 2020


Hoosier Ag Today

Nov 22, 2019


U.S. legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters didn’t stop China’s trade chief from making a phone call recently to invite U.S. negotiators to a new round of trade talks.


The Wall Street Journal says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were invited to Beijing for more face-to-face trade negotiations.


While it wasn’t immediately clear if U.S. officials said yes to the invitation, the Wall Street Journal says U.S. trade officials were willing to meet with their Chinese counterparts.


The U.S. Trade Representative’s office has yet to respond to requests for comment. The report on the Chinese invitation comes shortly after U.S. legislation on Hong Kong had threatened to push trade talks between the world’s biggest economies off track.


Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills intended to show support for protesters in Hong Kong. Beijing then accused the U.S. of interfering in its domestic affairs.


Trade experts...





Doubt Growing on USMCA Passing in 2019


Hoosier Ag Today

Nov 23, 2019


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appears doubtful that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) will be passed this year.


After she met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal last week, there was no deal and not much time left on the legislative clock.


“We’ve made progress,” she said after leaving the 90-minute meeting. “I think we’re narrowing our differences.”


She said earlier in the day that they’ll still have several steps to take even after they finally reach an agreement. The clock is ticking.


Last Thursday was the last day before the House takes its Thanksgiving break. The Trump Administration and some Democrats hoped to strike a deal...





China upbeat about trade talks, but Hong Kong policy might cause complications


By Larry Lee, Brownfield 

November 22, 2019


China’s leaders told a U.S. business delegation they still have a positive attitude towards trade talks.  Chinese President Xi Jinping told participants in Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum Friday his country doesn’t want to start a trade war but they are not afraid and would fight back when necessary.


The delegation included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and former U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman.


Another possible obstacle to a U.S. China trade agreement is the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which awaits President Trump’s signature.  Chinese media reports The Hong Kong issue has the potential to influence the trade talks, and China will have to respond if Trump signs it into law.


Progress on signing the Phase One trade deal is uncertain, as it remains unclear if China will buy large quantities of ag products and if the U.S. is willing to start cutting tariffs...





Signal to Noise: Impeachment Plays a Role in USMCA Delay


by John Herath, AgWeb

Nov 22, 2019


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this week said a vote on the U.S., Canada, Mexico agreement will likely slide into 2020. Pro Farmer policy analyst Jim Wiesmeyer said the delay is a sign that impeachment hearings are taking a toll on progress in Washington.


There is a glimmer of hope, however, for the biodiesel tax credit. This week's DC Signal to Noise podcast looks at a narrow window at the end of the year that could provide an opening for renewal of the tax incentive that lapsed two years ago.


Also on tap for this week's podcast: analysis of the latest Democratic debate, a push for assistance for sugar beet growers, Senator Charles Grassley's (R-Iowa) continued fight for the Renewable Fuels Standard and more...


more, including audio [44:47 min.]