WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2016 - U.S. and EU negotiators wrapped up the 15th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations last week under general expectations that there will not be a final deal reached this year. The next round is scheduled for Nov. 11, but don’t expect the U.S. agriculture sector to remain dormant on trade issues until then.
Later today, the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), together with the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, will release a 60-page analysis of just how costly the EU’s demands on Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) in T-TIP would be if the U.S. agreed to them.
The Europeans are trying to exclude hundreds of food names to very specific products that are often produced in specific regions – like Parmesan cheese – while the U.S. food industry believes the names should be available to all.
The report was commissioned by CCFN and conducted by Informa Economics IEG. National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern and U.S. Dairy Export Council President Tom Suber will conduct a teleconference today to announce the findings of the analysis. Don’t forget to check back in with Agri-Pulse for coverage of the report soon after it’s released at 11 a.m. ET.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is scheduled to speak at the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

Brazil record soybean harvest could have been bigger. Brazil is now forecast to produce a record 101 million metric tons of soybeans this year, but the South American giant could have had an even bigger year if not for the economy.
“Brazil is forecast to have the slowest area growth in the last five years, attributed to an higher expected cost of production, tight credit policies, higher interest rates, the economic downturn, and soybean areas shifting back to full-season corn,” USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service said in a newly released report.
Brazil is also forecast to have record-breaking soybean exports. Rising demand from China and a weakening Brazilian currency will push Brazilian exports higher than ever in the 2016-17 marketing year, the report said. Exports are now expected to reach 57 million tons, up from 52 million in 2015-16. Exports likely would be even bigger, but the government recently increased its mandate for biodiesel production and that’s keeping more of the country’s crops in the country.
Ag coalition to EPA: Farm-raised feedstocks aren’t fossil fuels. The Biogenic CO2 Coalition is stepping up its pressure on the EPA to not regulate carbon emissions on biomass that’s used for energy production. The coalition, made up of groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the Corn Refiners Association and the National Cotton Council have sent letters to both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, asking for their support.
“The bioeconomy is poised for exponential growth, but is struggling against an existential roadblock in the form of policies of the (EPA) which fail to recognize the carbon benefits of agricultural biomass,” the coalition argues in the letters. “EPA is regulating CO2 emissions from production facilities, such as biorefineries, bakeries, breweries, oil seed processors, and agriculture-derived fuel producers, as if they were fossil-based emissions. Because EPA is putting a price on carbon through its Clean Power Plan and other policies, this effectively results in an emissions tax on American farms and farm products.”
FDA reminds food companies about looming deadlines. The Food and Drug Administration is reaching out to the food companies to remind them of 2018 deadlines for big changes in industry requirements. Making major changes such as reformulating food products and changing labels can be time intensive and 2018 is going to be a big year for deadlines, the FDA said in a recent notice to the industry.
By June 18, 2018, most food companies have to be certain they have completely removed all partially hydrogenated oils from their products. About a month later, on July 26, large food companies with more that $10 million in annual food sales will need to make sure they have changed their nutrition labeling to meet new FDA requirements.
July 26 is also the deadline for new labeling requirements on food in vending machines.
Trump hits Clinton on open-hemisphere speech. Donald Trump went after Hillary Clinton over a leaked speech excerpt where she said she dreamed of a hemispheric common market with open borders and trade. “Do you know what that does to your community? That’s the end,” Trump said during a speech in Ambridge, Pa., yesterday. “In other words, she wants the United States to surrender to global governance with no controls over trade or immigration.” 
Clinton made the remarks in a speech to officials with a Brazilian bank. The quote was contained in the Wikileaks document dump that came out last Friday. However, it was buried by news about lewd and disparaging comments that Trump made in 2005 about women - caught on an open mic. Clinton’s speech excerpts would have almost currently been more damaging if it had come out earlier or at another other time than Friday. 
Trump also repeated his attacks on NAFTA and his charge that she secretly supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
But as we reported on her speech in Toledo, Ohio last week, Clinton has reiterated her opposition to the TPP. “I oppose TPP now, I will oppose it after the election, I will oppose it as president… because it is one-sided and unfair to American workers.”
He said it: “She called it the gold standard. And by the way, at the last debate, she lied, because it turned out that she did say the gold standard and she said she didn’t say it. They actually said that she lied. OK? And she lied. But she’s lied about a lot of things.”
That was Donald Trump, arguing during the Sunday debate that Hillary Clinton actually supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal even though she has said she does not.

Phil Brasher contributed to this report.


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