Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Phase One Trade Agreement Provisions Implemented, Expanding Access for U.S. Beef in China
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DENVER, CO – March 22, 2020 – On Friday, March 20, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) updated its Export Library for China to reflect expanded access for U.S. beef and pork. These changes were among the provisions negotiated in the U.S.-China “Phase One” trade agreement.
Access for U.S. beef has expanded significantly, explains Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific. Many more U.S. facilities are now eligible to export beef to China, and exports are no longer limited to beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. China is also adopting international standards for growth hormones commonly used in beef production, rather than enforcing a zero tolerance policy. Haggard notes that in a another positive development, China is allowing importers to apply for relief from retaliatory duties on U.S. beef. When successful, this process can lower the effective tariff rate on U.S. beef entering China from 42% to the most-favored-nation (MFN) rate of 12%.
U.S. pork will also benefit from market access gains negotiated in the Phase One agreement. Under the changes posted on Friday by USDA, more facilities are eligible to export pork and pork products to China, and the FSIS Export Library now clarifies that this includes processed pork products and pork trimmings. Importers may also apply for tariff relief on U.S. pork entering China. When successful, this process can lower the effective tariff rate on U.S. pork muscle cuts from 63% to 33% and on pork offals from 67% to 37%.
Colorado Takes Further Action to Address Public Health Threat of COVID-19
State extends suspension of downhill ski operations, limits gatherings to no more than 10 people, suspends in-person learning in public & private schools
DENVER – Today Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and announced new executive actions to protect the health and safety of Coloradans. Earlier today at a news conference, Governor Polis announced the launch of the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.
“We are acting boldly and swiftly together to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. The science and data tells us this will get worse before it gets better,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are in this together and the state is taking the necessary actions to slow the spread of this disease.”
The Governor signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities. This order also directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to support P-12 school systems in developing and implementing plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast, and offering waivers for instructional time as appropriate. Click here to read. Continue reading →
Colorado NRCS Announces Application Cut-Off Dates for 2020 Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE)
Application packages are due on the following NEW dates by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration:
ROUND 1 – Friday, April 24th, 2020 ROUND 2 – Monday, May 18th, 2020
DENVER, CO, March 20, 2020 – Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist, Clint Evans, announced the 2020 application cut-off dates for eligible entities to participate in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE) in Colorado. There will be two rounds of funding that will help prioritize funding in a compressed funding year. Application packages are due on Friday April 24th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration in Round 1 and on Monday, May 18th, 2020, by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration in Round 2. Funding levels for Colorado NRCS will be announced at a later date. Continue reading →