Ag Today September 10, 2019

House Democrats will decide the fate of Trump’s North American trade deal as Congress returns [CNBC]

House Democrats will control the fate of one of President Donald Trump’s top priorities as they return to Washington this week. The president has pushed for swift approval of his replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a top economic and political priority ahead of the 2020 election. Democrats have shown little urgency in moving to ratify the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as signed by the three countries last year….The next few months could prove pivotal for Trump’s trade agenda, one of the planks that helped to propel him to the White House. He has taken more heat as his trade war with China, the world’s second-largest economy, escalates, and fears about slowing global growth spread. Farmers and other businesses damaged by the trade conflict want to see the USMCA approved to end the uncertainty about their access to key Canadian and Mexican markets.


Deadline looming, Japan struggles to elude Trump tariff threat [REUTERS]

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have averted giving away too much in trade talks with U.S. President Donald Trump but Tokyo is struggling ahead of a late-month deadline to achieve its primary goal: get the unpredictable president to drop threats of punitive auto tariffs….Trump and Abe are seeking a final agreement in time for their expected meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly later this month….A deal this month could be tricky, as there’s little time to nail down the wording for politically sensitive areas such as farm products and autos, and clear any legal hurdles, the officials say.


Editorial: Trump’s holding American farmers hostage. How much damage is he willing to do? [Sacramento Bee]

…Trump has put farmers squarely in the crossfire of his trade wars. His unpredictable tariff threats against trading partners like China, India and Mexico – usually delivered via Twitter – have sown extra chaos and unpredictability into lives already fraught with uncertainty. People who make their living off of the land face many unpredictable challenges: frost, floods, storms, heat, insects and global economics. Now they must also worry that they’re just a few presidential tweets away from financial disaster.


Many U.S. farmers fume at Washington, not Trump, over biofuel, trade policies [REUTERS]

American farmers helped elect President Donald Trump in 2016 on hopes he would shake up Washington and turn around a struggling agricultural economy, but many of his policies have actually stung farmers, notably his trade war with China and biofuel waivers for oil refiners. Many farmers are angry, and some are directing their anger not at the Republican president, but at Washington’s bureaucracy….Instead of directing their anger at Trump, dozens of farmers interviewed by Reuters blasted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other Washington institutions they believe are thwarting his true agenda.


Bill allowing cannabis numbers in Monterey County crop report signed by Governor Newsom [Monterey County Herald]

A bill authored by State Senator Bill Monning, D-Carmel, that would allow the reporting of cannabis in the annual Monterey County Crop Report was signed into law last week by Governor Gavin Newsom….The legislation would add a section to the Business and Professions Code relating to cannabis cultivation authorizing a county agricultural commissioner to report to the condition, acreage, production, and value of cannabis produced in the commissioner’s county under a cultivation license issued under the Medicinal and Adult-use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act. The bill would provide that this data may be organized by categories such as state cultivator license type and other specified categories.


Opinion: In going after Trump, California is going too far with environmental legislation [CalMatters]

…Senate Bill 1 by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins would require that California ignore new scientific findings on natural resources and water issued after January 19, 2017, the day before the Trump took office. That’s not an exaggeration. The date is actually listed in the bill 21 different times. We cannot advance the fight for environmental quality by declaring that all science stopped on a specific date….This bill jeopardizes the most significant progress the state has made in solving its most contentious water problems….But SB 1 would force the state to discard the new data and walk away from those agreements. That, in turn, would force water district officials to walk into courtrooms to protect their rights.