WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2016 - We’re entering the final two weeks before the election with polling showing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton pulling ahead, but GOP nominee Donald Trump remains confident in his chances on Nov. 8. 
Trump’s campaign stopped in rural West Boynton, Fla., on Monday, to tell a gathering of farmers that he was their best chance at stopping over-regulation from the EPA and putting an end to multi-lateral trade pacts. He also predicted that he’s going to win the race to the White House, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel.
Surrounded by pumpkins, hay stacks and corn stalks, Trump assured a gathering of Floridian farmers that he is winning, despite what they may have heard in the media.
“The truth is that we’re winning,” Trump said in the Sentinel article. “We’re winning this race. I really believe we are winning.”
Trump’s message of putting a halt to the EPA’s efforts to regulate farming is a popular one. The American Farm Bureau Federation has long campaigned against the agency’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule for attempting to restrict land use when even the smallest streams are present.
Trump’s opposition to WOTUS, which is now tied up in the courts, is spelled out on his web site. “Eliminate our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of the U.S. Rule,” the Republican candidate says. “We will also scrap the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan which the government estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year.”
USDA to unveil new rural investment in Missouri. Improving the infrastructure and quality of life in rural America has been a major theme for the Obama administration and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to announce another major investment expansion on Wednesday.
Vilsack will travel to Savannah, Mo., where he is expected to unveil “a new multibillion-dollar national investment to improve rural electric utility systems and broadband, including projects in Missouri, creating jobs and increasing reliability for customers.”
The USDA has spent about $31 billion since 2009 to help finance rural electrical projects. The money, USDA said, has been sunk into “963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents.”

E15 and E85 pumps come to Virginia. USDA Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse will be at a Sheetz gas station in Manassas, Va., Wednesday to announce the arrival of pumps that will dispense gasoline that contains 15 percent and 85 percent ethanol. That’s well above the common 10 percent blends that make up most of the gasoline sold in Virginia.

USDA is taking the opportunity to highlight its Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership, a program through which the department and at least 21 state partners have invested $210 million to increase the number of higher-blend ethanol pumps across the country.

U.S. rice sector can’t support T-TIP without major gains in market access.The U.S. never fully recovered from losing the European market in 2006 after the discovery of unapproved biotech rice in U.S. shipments. Now Europeans are buying U.S. rice, but a restrictive tariff rate quota system assures that trade remains minimal, according to a report from the USA Rice Federation.

The European TRQ that limits U.S. rice exports to 38,721 tons has to be eliminated in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deal now being negotiated between the EU and U.S., says the USA Rice Federation.
"If we don't ship milled rice under the TRQ, then our customers face an EU import duty of about $194 per metric ton," said Johnny Sullivan, a vice president for Producers' Rice Mill and member of USA Rice’s EU Subcommittee. "It's very hard to be competitive in Europe with that level of tariff when rice imported from most other origins has little or zero tariffs."
Sullivan and others representing USA Rice visited Brussels earlier this month to meet with EU officials, European farmers and USDA officials stationed there.
South China’s wine and beer imports skyrocket. The thirst for imported beer and wine continues to grow to new record levels in South China and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is recommending that U.S. exporters tap into some of that growing market. South China covers several provinces, including Hong Kong and Macau, and makes up roughly 55 percent of the country.
South China’s wine imports have more than doubled and beer imports have tripled since 2003, according to a newly released FAS report. China remains the world’s largest beer producing country, but younger generations are driving the increased demand for foreign brews.
“These consumers, as compared to previous generations, are much more familiar with western brands and consumer trends as a result of internet use and foreign travel, and also are eager to try a wider variety of products and flavors,” FAS said. “U.S. beer and wine exporters are encouraged to consider this huge market, and there are various key wine and beer trade shows in China planned for 2017.”  


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