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AG Today

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Ag Today December 20, 2019

House passes North American trade pact with bipartisan support [Wall Street Journal] The House of Representatives approved President Trump’s amended North American trade pact on Thursday in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, a rare instance of legislative cooperation in an era of intense political divisions. The House approved legislation to implement the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA, by a 385 to 41 vote, with 193 Democrats and 192 Republicans backing the pact. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation early next year, after which the president would sign it into law. https://www.wsj.com/articles/usmca-clears-threshold-to-pass-in-the-house-with-bipartisan-support-11576790200?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1   Almonds and pecans may be key to U.S.-China farm deal...

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Ag Today December 19, 2019

Democratic-led House poised to give Trump big win on trade [Associated Press] One day after impeaching President Donald Trump, the Democratic-led House looks poised to overwhelmingly pass one of his signature priorities, a rewrite of the 25-year-old free trade agreement he blames for shipping U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico. The House began debate Thursday on a bill putting in place terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The legislation was expected to pass with bipartisan support after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues won key concessions from an administration anxious to pass the trade deal before next year’s election season makes...

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Ag Today December 18, 2019

California businesses breathe sigh of relief over deal to update NAFTA trade pact [Los Angeles Times] There is little overall difference between the old North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trump administration’s replacement. But California businesses are just relieved to finally have some certainty they can plan around....The expected approval of the new pact, by the House on Thursday and by the Senate next year, has calmed the fears of many Golden State businesses....The dairy industry lauded USMCA’s gradual opening of dairy sales to Canada, which has strict production controls, including import quotas protected by whopping three-digit tariffs. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-12-18/california-mexico-canada-trade   China’s farm-purchase targets...

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Ag Today, December 17

U.S. Congress should easily ratify North American trade deal: U.S. trade chief [Reuters] The U.S. Congress should easily approve a revised North American trade agreement, and increased trade flows will raise U.S. gross domestic product by a third to a full percentage point, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday....Mexico, the United States and Canada last week agreed to revised terms for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee expects to vote on the legislation on Tuesday, with the full House to vote...

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Ag Today December 16, 2019

U.S. agriculture wary of Trump's China sales pledge, more meat a must [Reuters] U.S. farmers and traders were reluctant to celebrate news of an interim U.S.-China trade deal on Friday, saying it remained unclear how China would manage to buy another $32 billion of additional farm products over two years as promised….U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Friday Beijing agreed as part of a pact to be signed in January to increase annual agricultural purchases from a baseline $24 billion in 2017 to at least $40 billion starting next year….Lighthizer said there would be specific targets for Chinese purchases of...

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Ag Today December 13, 2019

U.S. and China reach initial trade deal [New York Times] The United States and China said they had agreed to an initial trade deal that would reduce tariffs on some Chinese goods and increase purchases of American farm products, a significant de-escalation in the 19-month battle that has rattled the world economy….China confirmed that the agreement includes a commitment  to buy more American agriculture products and to strengthen laws protecting foreign companies operating in China, as well as beefing up intellectual property rules and providing more transparency around currency movements….But both countries were coy about the quantity of American farm products...

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Ag Today December 12, 2019

House passes farmworker bill on bipartisan vote [Fresno Bee] The House on a bipartisan vote Wednesday passed what’s commonly known as the farmworker bill….It passed on a 260-165 vote arrived at after nearly two years of negotiations between House Democrats and Republicans. Now, it faces even more uncertainty in the Senate. “Though we’re heartened by the House vote, we realize there’s a lot of work still needed to advance this legislation to the president,” California Farm Bureau Federation president Jamie Johansson said in a release….More than 300 industry groups including the United Farm Workers have backed the measure. https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/article238296798.html   Coli Outbreaks in...

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Ag Today December 6, 2019

China to waive tariffs on some U.S. soybeans, pork in goodwill gesture [Reuters] In a positive gesture, China said on Friday that it will waive import tariffs for some soybeans and pork shipments from the United States, as the two sides try to thrash out a broader agreement to defuse their protracted trade war….The waiver comes amid negotiations between the United States and China to conclude a 'phase one' or interim deal to de-escalate a 17-month trade war that has roiled financial markets, disrupted supply chains and weighed on global economic growth. A deal had initially been expected last month, but...

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Ag Today December 5, 2019

Big atmospheric rivers do a lot of damage — especially in Northern California [San Francisco Chronicle] …A first-ever economic analysis of atmospheric rivers, released Wednesday as another series of these potent weather systems emerged over the Pacific, finds that such events have caused an average of $1.1 billion of flood damage annually over 40 years. The hardest-hit place, across 11 Western states with losses, was Sonoma County….In California, the systems can bring half of the state’s annual precipitation in a matter of days. While atmospheric rivers help nourish landscapes, replenish rivers and creeks and fill water supplies, they also can wreak...

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Ag Today December 4, 2019

Trump jump-starts repairs for sinking California canal. But who will pay? [Sacramento Bee] The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday it will begin studying the environmental impact of fixing a 33-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal — a critical water artery on the Valley’s east side….Yet despite the support from the federal government to fix the Friant-Kern Canal, a key question remains: Who’s going to step up and pay?...In 2018, California voters defeated Proposition 3, which would have raised $350 million for repairs. It was the first time a water bond failed in California in almost 30 years. After the failure,...

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