READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 28th…

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Presidential Debate Touches on Trade and Regulations

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton talked trade as one of the topics of the first Presidential debate on Monday night. Trump accused Clinton of supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation deal supported by American agricultural groups. Trump accused Clinton of secretly supporting the TPP, noting that she once described TPP as “the gold standard of trade deals.” Trump also called the North American Free Trade Agreement one of the “worst deals in history.” Clinton insisted she was opposed to TPP and noted that she voted against the Central America Free Trade Deal while in the Senate. She also argued that trade is critical to the U.S. economy, saying “We are five percent of the world’s population and we have to trade with the other 95 percent.” An Agri-Pulse report says Trump also accused Clinton of wanting to expand the Obama Administration’s regulatory agenda, saying she would “Regulate businesses out of existence.” Clinton said her economic plan would “cut regulations and streamline them for small businesses” but didn’t say how.


Prospects for a Vote on TPP Improving Slightly

Several prominent politicians have recently made comments that would seem to boost prospects for a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the lame-duck session of Congress after the elections. A Minnesota Ag Connection report says Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah is Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has authority in trade matters, and he said the upper chamber could consider TPP during a lame duck session. Texas Republican Kevin Brady, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, echoed Hatch in an interview with the Texas Tribune. Brady told the newspaper it’s a mistake to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership because if America abandons the Asian markets, “we will lose.” Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the deal, but former President Bill Clinton recently indicated that she would like changes to the deal but would support it as president. Iowa State University economist Dermont Hayes said the TPP would cause pork exports to jump exponentially as the product moves overseas to the other 11 nations in the deal. Hayes said the exports would directly tie to 10,000 new jobs in the U.S.


Canada, China, Sign Canola and Beef Trade Agreement

Trade leaders from Canada and China have signed a trade agreement that supports canola exports to China. Canola is Canada’s second-largest export and top agricultural export to China, according to World Grain News. Canada’s Prime Minister and China’s Premier agreed on a memo that outlines “stable and predictable trade” for exports of Canola to China. The agreement allows uninterrupted canola trade between Canada and China through 2020. The agreement stems from blackleg disease that affects canola in Canada and China’s concern of the disease entering the nation through exports. The agreement ensures the two countries will work together to prevent blackleg disease from entering China. The two nations also signed a protocol to expand market access for frozen bone-in beef from Canada and have also advanced several key initiatives to support trade in pork, bovine genetics and some processed foods.


Flooding to Shut Down Mississippi River Shipping Temporarily

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says flooding in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa is likely to shut down three locks later this week on the Mississippi River, a key waterway for shipping grain to southern ports. Two locks in Illinois and one in Missouri could close for two or three days and would effectively halt grain shipments over that time frame. A Reuters article says the flood-swollen Mississippi River is expected to crest at 18.3 feet on Saturday near New Boston, Illinois, and barge shippers have been instructed to be extra cautious in flooded areas due to much stronger currents. Grain volumes moving through the affected areas normally ramp up in the fall because of harvested crops moving downriver to shipping ports in the south along the Gulf Coast. The southern shipping ports account for 60 percent of all grains leaving the country. Excessive rains in southern Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin have swamped farmlands in those states and are causing concerns about the conditions of the corn and soybean crops ahead of the fall harvest.


U.S. Poultry Dispute with India Nears Resolution

Trade officials in India are making policy changes in an effort to comply with a 2015 World Trade Organization ruling that found its ban on U.S. imports of poultry meat, eggs, and live pigs violated international rules. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today says a key aspect of the WTO’s decision found that India’s ban failed to separate disease-free areas and low-disease areas, which is a violation of WTO sanitary rules. The proposed changes are an attempt by India to meet those regulations. The amendments include screening poultry imports according to WTO standards, recognizing the concept of disease-free areas, and conforming its recognition of disease-free areas to the specified international health codes. U.S. officials are studying the proposed changes and were not ready to make public comments yet. Earlier this year, the U.S. asked the WTO board to sanction $450 million in retaliatory trade sanctions until India complied with the 2015 ruling.


Poultry and Soy Groups in Cuba This Week

A delegation representing American poultry and soybean groups is in Cuba on a trade mission this week. The group represents the first mission to Cuba funded by the soybean checkoff since America first began normalizing trade relations with the country earlier this year. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow 22 industry-funded ag research and promotion programs to conduct research and analysis activities in Cuba. Since limited ag trade with Cuba was first permitted in 2000, the country is now the fourth biggest export market for American poultry products. The Cuban poultry and egg industries also consume more than half of the soybean meal produced in America. The delegation will meet with soybean, poultry, and egg industry representatives to get a better feel for the food distribution system in Cuba and to talk about biosecurity, food safety, and nutrition issues. The delegation also includes representatives from U.S. poultry and egg companies, cold storage and logistics providers, export companies, and shipping lines.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service