WASHINGTON, May 5, 2016 - With all of his Republican challengers out of the race, Donald Trump is now pivoting to the general election. But when it comes to trade his message isn’t changing one iota. In an extended interview yesterday with CNN, Trump pounded on the issue as he predicted he would carry “blue” states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and even New York. 

Trump has shifted to talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership specifically to repeatedly slamming the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said he would win all of the states “horribly affected by NAFTA,” which he called a “Clinton deal,” a reference to Hillary Clinton’s husband.

Bill Reinsch, president of the Foreign Trade Council, tells Agri-Pulse that he expects Trump to “flog the (trade) issue to death. That will in turn force Clinton to criticize President Obama’s trade policy as well, ensuring that trade “remains a front page issue through the election,” and making it harder for Congress to take up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Reinsch says. 

Farmers and agribusiness companies who want to see the TPP approved must keep “making clear the benefit it provides to them,” Reinsch says. 

Many in business hope Trump will moderate his position, if he’s elected, but Trump adviser Roger Stone told The New York Times that Trump won’t do that. “He has said he would scrap trade deals; his voters will demand he scrap trade deals. He knows that,” Stone says. 

House chairman demands answers on glyphosate report. A House committee chairman is demanding that EPA officials explain why they posted - and then removed - a study that concluded that the herbicide glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. 

In a letter to the agency, Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, notes that the report is clearly labeled as “final” and contains the signatures of thirteen members of EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee. “EPA’s removal of this report and the subsequent backtracking on its finality raises questions about the agency’s motivation in providing a fair assessment of glyphosate,” Smith writes. 

Smith is ordering EPA to turn over all internal documents and communications about the report going back to January 2015.

EPA: Atrazine study wasn’t final. EPA repeated the same chain of events Tuesday with a draft ecological assessment of the herbicide atrazine. The agency, which gave no explanation for removing the report on Tuesday, tellsAgri-Pulse that the atrazine document hadn’t been finalized.

EPA says it expects to release the draft assessment for public comment in the next few months. The agency says it will study the comments, revise the risk assessment, and then propose risk mitigation strategies where appropriate. Atrazine is currently undergoing registration review by the agency.

The primary registrant of atrazine, Syngenta, says in a statement to Agri-Pulsethat EPA’s draft report is "scientifically incorrect." The company says EPA scientists “discounted several high-quality studies” and instead used studies that EPA‘s own 2012 Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) deemed to be flawed.

The report proposes a new threshold, or “level of concern” (LOC), at which atrazine would be hazardous to aquatic species. Syngenta says the LOC isn’t justified by the science.

Study puts value on weed control. Controlling weeds in U.S. corn and soybean fields saves an astounding $43 billion a year, according to a team of experts with the Weed Science Society of America.

The experts calculated that failing to control weeds would reduce corn yields by 52 percent if farmers used best management practices but no herbicidal weed control. Soybean yields would be hit by 49.5 percent. Those estimates were then applied to the value of corn and soybeans from 2007 to 2013, a period when the price of corn averaged $4.94, well above current levels. The results: Weed control would have saved $27 billion during that period on corn and $16 billion for soybeans. 

Ethanol edges near 10 percent of gasoline supply. The Energy Information Administration says the amount of ethanol in the nation’s gasoline supply reached 9.9 percent last year, up from 9.8 percent in 2014. Put another way, blends of 10 percent ethanol (E10) now account for 95 percent of all gasoline consumed in U.S. motor vehicles. 

EIA says the data emphasize that the only way to increase ethanol usage is to increase the sales of higher ethanol blends. The agency estimates that there are about 16.3 million vehicles nationwide, 7 percent of the U.S. fleet, which can run on blends of up to 85 percent ethanol. 

He said it. “I will put states in play that no other Republican will talk about or go to.” - Donald Trump, claiming that he can carry states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania that have been hurt by trade.


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