Ag Today September 18, 2018

China retaliates with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods [Wall Street Journal]

China scrambled to deal with an escalating trade fight with the U.S., issuing an expected volley of tariffs and weighing whether to agree to Washington’s offer for more trade talks. The announcement by the country’s cabinet came half a day after President Trump announced new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, an action that left Chinese officials seeking an appropriate response. The new Chinese levies, on imports from the U.S. ranging from farm products and machinery to chemicals, will take effect on Sept. 24, the same day the latest U.S. penalties are set to kick in. The Chinese rates will range from 5% to 10%.


U.S. increases China tariffs by $200 billion, but spares Apple, Fitbit [San Francisco Chronicle]

The Trump administration is imposing tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods starting next week, spanning dozens of crops, meat products and industrial materials….California agriculture groups are bracing for more potential tariffs from China as demand for some products have already shown signs of weakness. President Trump’s new list of tariffs includes “a lot of agriculture goods. Now we’re just in a ‘wait and see’ [on] what the Chinese will do in retaliation,” said Sara Neagu-Reed, associate director of federal policy at the California Farm Bureau Federation, which has nearly 40,000 members….Demand has already softened for walnuts as tariffs have escalated, said Pamela Graviet, senior marketing director at the California Walnut Commission, an agricultural trade group.


As midterms near, Trump gambles on his hardline trade policy [Associated Press]

…By any conventional gauge, President Donald Trump’s uncompromising stance toward tariffs and the pain they’ve begun to cause U.S. individuals and companies so close to midterm elections would seem politically reckless. Yet Trump appears to be betting that his combative actions will soon benefit the country and prove a political winner….Trump’s apparent belief is that he and congressional Republicans can rely on the unswerving support of core GOP voters — even in rural areas that have been economically hurt by his trade disputes — and maybe succeed in delivering better trade deals before Election Day.


Gerawan workers took union vote in 2013. Why did it take 5 years to count the votes? [Fresno Bee]

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board has ordered the ballots in a 2013 worker election at Gerawan Farming finally be counted. The ALRB issued the order on Friday….The ballot count will take place Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the State Building at 2550 Mariposa Mall St., Fresno….At the time, workers were attempting to oust the United Farm Workers union from representing them. But the election was mired in legal challenges and charges of unfair labor practices. And the ballots were never counted.


Tunnel foes shift focus to Delta’s most disadvantaged communities [Stockton Record]

California’s proposal to construct two massive tunnels underneath the Delta northwest of the city to divert Sacramento River water south would “devastate” Stockton and other communities in and around the Delta, especially what a new report refers to as “environmental justice communities” that often have been ignored in the discussion around the tunnels. The 216-page report — “The Fate of the Delta: Impacts of Proposed Water Projects and Plans on Delta Environmental Justice Communities” from grassroots advocacy group Restore the Delta — was released Monday during a news conference attended by Stockton’s representatives in Congress and the California Legislature, Mayor Michael Tubbs, San Joaquin County Supervisor Kathy Miller and others all stating their support. It is Restore the Delta’s intent to change the primary focus surrounding the twin tunnels proposal from water to people.


$500,000 in water study funds cut [Klamath Falls Herald and News]

The Klamath Tribes believe the federal government has taken a “giant step backwards” in the road to a comprehensive, long-term agreement aiming to solve water conflicts in the Basin. That’s because the U.S. government rolled back a federal program in its fifth year of providing $500,000 for a study aimed at testing water quality in Upper Klamath Lake….In an email obtained by H&N from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office Manager Jeff Nettleton to the Klamath Tribes, Nettleton cited budget cuts as a main reason for the rollback of the funding.