Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue explains why USDA has been given the lead in the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity:
“The president understands that the employment numbers haven’t come back up to pre-2008 in rural areas. And we’ve got technology issues, we’ve got infrastructure issues, we’ve got health issues…all of that. I think he saw the USDA and Secretary of Agriculture to bring these inter-agencies together.”
Senators Want NAFTA Renegotiations to Address Canada Poultry Market
A group of senators wants the renegotiation effort of the North American Free Trade Agreement to address U.S. poultry exports into Canada. The group, led by Delaware Democrat Tom Carper says Canada has engaged in protectionist trade policies that limit sales for U.S. poultry exporters. The Senators are asking the Donald Trump administration to address the issue during NAFTA renegotiation talks in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Similar to dairy, Canada maintains a strict supply management system on poultry production. The system’s import restrictions and production limits are meant to create a more stable system immune to market forces.
China Trade Agreement Includes Biotech Approvals
The trade agreement between the U.S. and China that focused on U.S. beef also paved the way for Chinese approval of two U.S. genetically modified crop traits. The Wall Street Journal reports China has approved imports of two new varieties of genetically modified crops, clearing the way for U.S. agricultural companies to market new biotech seeds to farmers. Through the announcement, China approved the import of Dow Enlist corn and Monsanto’s soybean variety, Vistive Gold. The approval stems from China agreeing to speed reviews of biotech products as part of the trade deal with President Donald Trump announced last month. The announcement does not, however, approve cultivation of GM crops in China.