READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, September 26th…

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Chance for TPP Passage Slim

Vice President Joe Biden said last week the chances for Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal were slim. Biden said he sees a “less than even chance” that the U.S. Congress approves the 12-country trade pact before the next administration takes office in January, according to Fortune Magazine. Biden made the remarks while speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He says the brief lame-duck session is “our only real shot” for approving TPP. The trade deal is the final cornerstone of the Obama administration as the President is pressing Congress to approve the agreement. However, with both presidential candidates speaking out against the trade deal, Congress has been reluctant to consider TPP. Leadership of the House and Senate say there will not be a vote on TPP this year, and that there may not be enough votes in the House to approve the trade deal. Other countries are holding out on approval, pending action by the United States.


China places Anti-Dumping Duties on U.S. DDGs

China on Friday announced anti-dumping duties on U.S. distillers ‘dried grains, or DDGs, shipped by two U.S. suppliers. The 33.8 percent duties are effectively immediately against Louis Dreyfus and Archer Daniels Midland. There’s no word on a final decision, but the duties stem from a months-long investigation by China following complaints that the U.S. was unfairly benefiting from subsidies, according to Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today. China is the world’s top buyer of DDGs, a by-product of corn ethanol. China imports almost all of its DDGs from the United States, the largest exporter. Trade experts fear the final decision regarding the duties on DDGs could be even higher than the one issued Friday.

Heritage Foundation Slams Farm Bill

The Heritage Foundation last week released its most sweeping critique of U.S. agriculture policy, according to Politico. The foundation called on Congress to revamp its approach to crop insurance, food stands, renewable fuels and trade. The 148-page report calls on Congress to eliminate the Renewable Fuels Standard along with trade-stifling tariffs and tariff rate quotas. The report also criticizes Congress for subsidizing cotton producers, a move the Foundation says opens the U.S. to World Trade Organization disputes, and for acting slowly to stop country of origin labeling for meat. While Politico reports many of the suggestions may never be realized, the report could influence some conservative members of Congress to eliminate support for farmers to balance the budget. Agriculture leaders in the House and Senate insist the current Farm Bill will not be reopened, and consideration of the next Farm Bill are sometime in 2017.

Ag Groups Urge Swift Resolution on Shipping Company Bankruptcy

Agriculture groups, including the American Soybean Association, are asking the U.S. Commerce Department to assist in finding a quick resolution to the Hanjin (Han-gin) Shipping Company bankruptcy. A letter to the Commerce Department expressed concern and anxiety among shippers, as to when the South Korea-based shipper would be allowed to enter ports, if their goods will be seized by Hanjin’s creditors once they are docked and the status of cargo that remains at overseas ports. South Korea said Friday it appears the company had built up enough cash to unload goods. At the beginning of this month, Hanjin filed for bankruptcy. By mid-month, the International Longshoremen’s Association refused to work Hanjin containers at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports because of Hanjin’s debts. Other agricultural groups signing onto the letter include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Grain & Feed Association, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Iran Now Self-Sufficient in Wheat

Government leaders in Iran say the nation is now self-sufficient in regards to its domestic wheat supply and aims to export wheat in the coming months. Iran has been a major wheat importer in recent years as the country sought to guarantee local food supplies, although its needs have varied partly due to erratic domestic production, according to Reuters. However, following a good growing season, the mood has changed in Iran with an increased domestic supply. Iran’s agriculture ministry said in June that 4.2 million metric tons of wheat had been bought from domestic farmers this year in state-sponsored purchases. That figure represents a 20 percent increase from the same period last year.

Florida, Virginia, Home to Nation’s Top Farmers Markets

Rankings by American Farmland Trust show Florida and Virginia are home to the top five farmers markets in the nation. In announcing the rankings, Susan Sink of American Farmland Trust said “farmers markets are critical for new and beginning farmers.” She noted that farmers selling directly to consumers at farmers markets have a nearly 10 percent greater chance of staying in business than those selling goods through traditional retail. The top rated farmers market in the nation was listed as Winter Garden Farmers market, in Winter Garden Florida. Farmers markets in Orlando, Florida, Charlottesville, Virginia, Williamsburg, Virginia and Fort Pierce, Florida, made up the top five. To see the full list of top markets nationwide, visit love my farmers market dot org (

SOURCE: NAFB News Service