U.S. sugar farmers want to keep restricting the inflow of foreign supplies just as much as sweetener users – think candy and food companies – want to increase imports and push down prices. As a result, friction between the two sides is heating up as Congress prepares to write the next five-year farm bill.
When China announced last week that it was taking aim at U.S. sorghum exports, it was widely seen as retribution for U.S. trade aggression. But the new Chinese anti-dumping investigation also fits into a wider pattern of efforts to dig the Asian country out of its massive stockpiles of corn.
President Donald Trump today officially rolled out his proposal to spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment, eliciting praise from farm groups for the 55-page plan that highlights the need to improve rural, roads, bridges, waterways and internet access.
It may not be fair to put so much pressure and responsibility on Gregg Doud, but much of the U.S. ag sector is counting on the farm economist from Kansas to be their chief trade negotiator and help prevent the dissolution of vitally important trade pacts and open up lucrative new markets across the globe.
Whether it’s the FDA tightening control over produce safety as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act or the Interior Department’s policies on cattle grazing, farmers and ranchers can get caught up in complex regulations written by agencies that often don’t understand agriculture the way USDA does.
U.S. complaints that Europe wasn’t living up to a promise to import American beef were ignored for years, but that’s changed in the months since the Trump administration began considering retaliatory duties on European imports. Now the two sides are talking and it looks like a deal could be in the works.