Passionate about learning and teaching, Brian Tischler is no stranger to the agriculture tech world and farming. Just last year he was successful in building his own autonomous tractor. He continues to be an advocate for the autonomous, open-source tech world, and during his talk at CropConnect this year it’s no surprise the room was filled…
The first phase of a trade deal between China and the U.S. has been agreed upon by both parties. United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer says U.S. President Donald Trump has “focused on concluding a Phase One agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship.” As part of the deal, the United States…
The first phase of a trade deal between China and the U.S. has been agreed upon by both parties. United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer says U.S. President Donald Trump has “focused on concluding a Phase One agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship.”
As part of the deal, the United States has agreed to modify its Section 301 tariff actions, with 25 per cent tariffs remaining on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports which were imposed back in June of this year. The tariffs put on in September, were originally 15 per cent on roughly $110 billion of Chinese goods, and those will now be dropped to 7.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, the additional tariffs of 15 per cent on approximately $110 billion worth of goods that were supposed to be put in place this Sunday will be retracted as per President Trump who said the retraction is due to the signing of the phase one deal.
Edward Lawrence, correspondent for FOX Business Network had a source tell him, “a signing ceremony will not happen with President Xi. There will be a rollout of the agreement by the White House Friday. The Chinese have requested that the language of the deal never be made public.”
“We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election. This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you!,” the President wrote on Twitter.
Pro Farmer policy analyst weighs in
Pro Farmer’s policy analyst Jim Wiesmeyer says Lighthizer told reporters that China has committed to purchase $16 billion in U.S. ag goods in the first year, up from a 2017 baseline of $24 billion, and that the purchases would be $32 billion of additional products over two years. However, he also commented that China said they would make efforts to get to $50 billion in ag purchases.
Wiesmeyer also says Lighthizer commented that the increase in exports to China would increase total U.S. trade to China by $200 billion over a two-year period.
When asked specifically about the purchases of at least $40 billion in U.S. ag products, Chinese officials did not confirm any such level. Officials would only say that the imports would not disrupt the domestic Chinese market.
According to Wiesmeyer, President Trump told reporters at the White House after the deal was announced that he thought China would hit $50 billion in terms of their purchases of U.S. ag goods. But he did not specify the products or the timeline for such purchases.
With U.S. Democrats agreeing to changes on the USMCA, there is now a path for the agreement to seek ratification in all three countries. After the deal was announced, the…
With U.S. Democrats agreeing to changes on the USMCA, there is now a path for the agreement to seek ratification in all three countries.
After the deal was announced, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Marie Claude Bibeau and USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke about the agreement on the phone, with Bibeau later taking to twitter to praise what she calls a “win-win-win for our 3 countries.”
— Marie-Claude Bibeau (@mclaudebibeau) December 11, 2019
Perdue issued the following statement on the USMCA through his press team: “it is a big win for American workers and the economy, especially for our farmers and ranchers. The agreement improves virtually every component of the old NAFTA, and the agriculture industry stands to gain significantly.”
Though many farmers and ranchers are in favour of the deal, there are dissenters, including some ranchers in the Pacific Northwest U.S. and dairy farmers in Canada.
No specific details of the phone call were released.
Federal ministers have received their marching orders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the 43rd Parliament. For minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Marie-Claude Bibeau, those orders include several…
Federal ministers have received their marching orders from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the 43rd Parliament.
For minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Marie-Claude Bibeau, those orders include several initiatives focused on trade, economic development, tax treatment of farm succession, food waste, and water quality.
The mandate letter lays out what Trudeau’s government prioritizes in the coming months. The full list is below, and includes the establishment of a new entity, Farm and Food Development Canada, to serve as a single point of service for the industry and add “additional capital lending capability,” and a national Canada Water Agency. Risk management and diversifying trade are also mentioned as key areas of attention.
Bibeau, along with her department, is expected to:
- In collaboration with the provinces and territories, undertake a review of risk management programs, with a special focus on AgriStability. Help producers manage environmental and business risks by providing faster and better adapted support. Draw lessons from recent trade disputes and evidence-based research.
- Work with the Minister of Finance and farmers on tax measures to facilitate the intergenerational transfer of farms.
- To support farmers as they succeed and grow, lead the consolidation of existing federal financial and advisory services currently scattered among several agencies. A new entity, Farm and Food Development Canada, will serve as a single point of service, delivering products from across government, with an expanded and enhanced mandate and additional capital lending capability.
Farm Credit Canada’s Trevor Sutter says, “In the days and weeks ahead, Minister Bibeau will provide further details and direction on how FCC will support the new mandate of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This is a very exciting time for FCC and we look forward to learning more, as we work with the Minister’s office, AAFC and other stakeholders in the days ahead. FCC is well set up for any opportunities the new mandate presents, and we look forward taking on a greater role in helping Canada’s producers and food industry become even more competitive.”
Mandate list continued….
- Continue to protect supply-managed agricultural sectors and work with them to develop a vision of the future. This will include concluding the work related to full and fair compensation for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, following its ratification.
- Support the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade in identifying additional tools to help Canada’s agricultural and agri-food businesses export their products and diversify into global markets.
- Draw on lessons from recent trade disputes and evidence-based research to develop additional capacity within the department to respond to export protections against Canadian agriculture, such as were recently faced by canola, beef and pork producers. This should include the ability to provide faster short-term support for industry when required. Continue to work with the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade to diversify Canada’s export markets.
- Lead work across government to move forward with the new Food Policy for Canada introduced in Budget 2019. This policy has four areas of near-term action, including:
- Help Canadian communities access healthy food;
- Make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad;
- Support food security in northern and indigenous communities; and
- Reduce food waste.
- Support the Minister of Health to ensure that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency is making science-based decisions that lead to the safe and sustainable use of crop protection products in Canada.
- Work with the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages to create a new fund to help producers and processors close the technology and infrastructure gap in order to develop domestic and international markets. This fund will be administered through Western Economic Diversification Canada to connect farmers, researchers, agribusinesses and energy companies.
- Support the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to create a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed.
RealAgriculture will be following up to determine what some of this really means for agriculture programs in the future.
You can read the entire mandate letter, here.
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