Cuba could be buying a lot more poultry, corn, dairy and other ag commodities produced in the U.S., but first the U.S. needs to reverse course and begin strengthening ties with the island nation. That is the message from some of the largest American farm groups to the incoming Biden administration.
President-elect Joe Biden is out with a $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal that includes some significant new food assistance provisions, including an extension through the summer of the 15% increase in SNAP benefits provided by the COVID aid package enacted in December.
The new year got off to a big start for U.S. soybean trade, with sales and shipments to China totaling nearly 2 million metric tons for just the first week in January, according to the latest trade data.
Lawmakers can now turn their eyes toward next Wednesday when Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president after Donald Trump was impeached by the House for a second time. The Senate won’t take up the impeachment before Trump leaves office.
President-elect Joe Biden names former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power to run the U.S. Agency for International Development, a position Biden says will be elevated in importance under his administration.
Lawmakers have their focus on impeachment for now, but Democratic leaders are likely to try to pivot quickly over the next weeks as President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Climate policy as well as immigration and tax reform will be on the agenda for the Senate.
An unlikely pair of senators – Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas – is urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to avoid letting his investigations into imports of blueberries and other produce from Mexico disrupt trade flows that are already strained because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDA officials tell Agri-Pulse they are working “amicably” with the Biden transition team, which is paving the way for the incoming administration next week. On the international front, the transition team has been pressing USDA for details on the impacts of the “phase one” trade deal with China.
Prices for many commodities have risen sharply to levels not seen in several years. But the president of the nation’s largest farm group, the American Farm Bureau Federation, isn’t ruling out seeking additional federal relief in 2021.
U.S. soybean export sales are unusually strong in January for both the current 2020-21 marketing year and the upcoming 2021-22 marketing year, boosted by China’s efforts to both feed its growing swine herd and replenish stocks.