READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 24th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 24th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump, China, To Talk Trade at G20

President Donald Trump is tentatively scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (she-gin-ping) during the Group of 20 nations, or G20 summit next month. The two are expected to discuss the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg News that U.S. goals are on the table and that the two leaders “will meet for a bit” during the event. He said he anticipated staff-level meetings between Chinese and American officials ahead of the November 30th summit. However, Kudlow warned not to expect any major breakthrough between the two leaders. He did say that a broad agreement “on some basic principles and trading rules” including intellectual-property theft, forced transfer of technology, and tariffs on agricultural products “would be most welcome.” Formal talks have stalled since August as the U.S. accused China of unwilling to engage on trade issues.

Canada, Mexico, Want Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Lifted

Canada and Mexico want the U.S. to remove steel and aluminum tariffs now that a NAFTA 2.0 framework is in place. Canada has asked the U.S. to lift the tariffs “as soon as possible.” Mexico’s top negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement, now the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, says Mexico should not sign the agreement until the tariffs have been lifted, according to Politico. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, along with Mexican counterparts, urged the U.S. to lift the tariffs earlier this week. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has previously called on Trump to remove the barriers, as well. Earlier this month, Perdue said that with an agreement now between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, “I think it’s time we go back to our previous relationship which had no tariffs on steel and aluminum.” Perdue says benefits of the agreement would be limited until the tariffs were removed.

Japan-EU Trade Deal to Increase Market Competition

A trade agreement between the European Union and Japan will increase competition for the United States. Japan’s conclusion of the trade agreement, and efforts to complete the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, will increase competition in Japan for U.S. oilseed and vegetable products, according to the Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. The two agreements contain tariff concessions for a range of oilseeds and other products that, with current trade rules, pose a disadvantage for U.S. products. The Hagstrom Report points out that the Japan-EU agreement could enter into force as early as 2019, while CPTPP member states are undertaking domestic procedures to ratify the agreement. Last year, Japan imported $3 billion worth of oilseeds, 37 percent coming from the United States, worth $1.15 billion. Japan also imported $1.5 billion in vegetable oil and animal fat products, of which 3.2 percent, or approximately $48 million were from the United States.

NOAA Forecasts Mild Winter

Much of the U.S. can expect a mild winter, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency released its seasonal outlook this week that covers December 2018 through February 2019. The forecast expects mostly warmer-than-normal weather this winter for the western two-thirds of the country, with no areas of the U.S. expected to see prevalent cooler-than-normal conditions. As for precipitation, much of the lower Southwest, Mid-South, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions have the greatest chance to see wetter-than-normal conditions this winter. Parts of the Great Lakes Region and portions of Montana and the western Dakotas are more likely to see drier-than-normal conditions. Much of the rest of the country has equal chances to see wetter or drier weather this winter, NOAA predicts. The agency’s precipitation map, in particular, looks a lot like how a signature El Niño winter typically plays out in the U.S. That’s no accident – with NOAA currently pegging the chance of those conditions developing this winter between 70 and 75 percent.

California Judge Reduces RoundUp Damage Award

A California Judge reduced the more than $200 million award to less than $40 million in a case against Bayer AG’s Roundup herbicide, formally of Monsanto. Dow Jones reports a San Francisco Superior Court Judge said the $250 million in punitive damages awarded by the jury must be slimmed down to match the $39.25 million in compensatory damages that the jury found appropriate. By doing so, the judge allowed the ruling against Bayer AG stand. Bayer inherited thousands of similar lawsuits as part of its acquisition of Monsanto that closed earlier this year. The ruling differs from a tentative decision reached by the judge earlier this month to throw out and order a new trial. Bayer will appeal the verdict and previously asked the court to overturn the ruling, citing that the plaintiff’s attorneys relied on evidence that did not take into consideration sound scientific fact.

Ag Co-ops Top List of Largest Cooperatives

Agricultural Co-ops top the nation’s list of largest cooperatives. The National Cooperative Bank this week released its annual NCB Co-op 100, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. The report shows that in 2017, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $214.4 billion. Minnesota-based CHS Inc. reported $31.9 billion in revenues in 2017 and maintained its first-place position on the list. Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Wakefern Food Corporation, and Associated Wholesale Grocers rounded out the top five. Charles Snyder, president and CEO of National Cooperative Bank, says that while the top 100 list is led by agriculture “ Cooperatives can be seen in just about every industry across America, including local food, finance, housing and energy.” 52 of the top 100 cooperatives are based in the agriculture industry. The NCB Co-op 100 remains the only annual report of its kind to track the profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service