READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 5th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 5th

Leaving Paris Climate Accord Could Impact Trade Negotiations

The Donald Trump administration is pledging a plan of bilateral trade negotiations with individual countries, but Politico speculates his latest move may hinder negotiations. President Trump removed the U.S. from the Paris climate accord last week, joining just Nicaragua and Syria as the only nations not to sign the pact. Politico says the withdrawal sets up the potential for other countries to use Trump’s decision as reason not to cooperate with him on other negotiations, including trade, or to implement tariffs in retaliation. Beyond simply refusing to negotiate, trading partners could also take steps to hit U.S. products with a so-called carbon tariff, a levy that would increase the cost of American goods to offset the fact that U.S. manufacturers could make products more cheaply because they would not have to abide by Paris climate goals. U.S. Senate Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon says by leaving the Paris agreement, the Trump administration is “putting a bull’s-eye on American exporters and the jobs they support.”

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Secretary Perdue Issues Statement on Paris Climate Accord

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue offered his thoughts on President Donald Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Perdue, nominated by Trump in January and confirmed by the Senate in April, says Trump “has rightly determined that the Paris accord was not in the best interests of the United States.” Perdue says the agreement would cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars and millions of jobs. Business Insider reports that the U.S. is the world’s second-largest carbon emitter, after China. The publication also says that most greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas, but they also come from using fertilizers, raising livestock and maintaining landfills. Perdue said the Paris accord would have a “negligible impact on world temperatures.” He says Earth’s climate has been changing since the planet was formed, and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture remains “firmly committed to digging ever deeper into research to develop better methods of agricultural production in that changing climate.”

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Rollback of Cuba Policies Will Harm U.S. Agriculture

A recent study says any rollback of Obama-era moves to normalize relations with Cuba will harm U.S. Agriculture. The study by Engage Cuba, a coalition of private companies seeking an end to the Cuba embargo, says any new regulations on exporting agricultural commodities to Cuba could cost $1.5 billion and affect 2,200 U.S. jobs. That’s on top of the estimated $6.6 billion economic impact and near 13,000 jobs on the line, if President Donald Trump changes provisions by former President Barack Obama. USA Today says the expected rollback by President Trump is largely based on discussions with Cuban-American Republican lawmakers from Florida, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, and Senator Marco Rubio. The announcement would come eight months after candidate Trump promised Cuban-Americans during a Miami campaign speech that he would reverse Obama’s policies on Cuba if the Castro government didn’t increase political and religious freedoms.

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House Ag Committee Plans Another Farm Bill Hearing

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee will hold another farm bill hearing this week. Texas Republican and Committee Chairman Mike Conaway announced the hearing, titled The Next Farm Bill: The Future of International Food Aid and Agricultural Development. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Chairman Conaway says the committee has long planned to continue reviewing international food aid programs as it works toward developing the next farm bill. Conaway said: “The president’s recent budget proposal makes this hearing especially timely, as supporters of these programs will have the opportunity to demonstrate how these programs truly embody an ‘America first’ policy.” Witnesses giving testimony at the hearing have yet to be announced.

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Backyard Flocks Sickening Hundreds of People

The Centers for Disease Control says more than 370 people have reported Salmonella infections from backyard flocks this year, and more than one-third of them were children under five years old. The CDC is reporting eight separate outbreaks across 47 states in backyard flocks. These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months, according to a public warning issued last week by the CDC. Public health officials interviewed 228 of the sick people and 190, or 83 percent, reported contact with live poultry in the week before they became ill. While contracting Salmonella and other bacteria from live poultry is relatively easy, the preventive measures recommended by public health officials are also easy, but must be practiced diligently. The CDC recommends hand washing after handling live poultry, not allowing live poultry in the house, not allowing children under five to handle poultry without supervision, and the CDC says “do not snuggle or kiss the birds, touch your mouth, or eat or drink around live poultry.”

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Farm Machinery Giant Acquiring Leading Road Construction Manufacturer 

Deere & Company announced it has signed an agreement to acquire the Wirtgen (Vert-gIN )Group, a privately-held international company that is the leading manufacturer worldwide of road construction equipment. The acquisition is valued at $5.2 billion, or 4.35 billion euros, in an all-cash transaction. Headquartered in Germany, the Wirtgen Group has five premium brands across the entire road construction sector spanning milling, processing, mixing, paving, compaction and rehabilitation. Deere plans to maintain the Wirtgen Group’s existing brands, management, manufacturing footprint, employees and distribution network. The transaction has been approved by Deere’s Board of Directors. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval in several jurisdictions as well as certain other customary closing conditions. The companies said they expect to close on the transaction in the first quarter of Deere’s 2018 fiscal year

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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