Now that the Trump administration has officially informed Congress that it intends to begin negotiations with Japan on a free trade agreement, anticipation is growing for a new deal that’s expected to significantly boost U.S. exports of beef, dairy, pork, rice and other commodities.
The average farmer probably won’t notice anytime soon that the 2014 farm bill has expired, but producers who try to sign up for some conservation programs could be turned away, and some commodity groups will have to go without some trade promotion funding on which they have counted.
The 2014 farm bill is set to expire in just over one week, raising concerns about disruptions in a number of programs, including one of the largest conservation programs as well as much smaller programs that help commodity groups open overseas markets.
The Trump administration today announced it is levying new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, escalating a trade war between the two countries that has hit the U.S. agriculture sector especially hard thanks to Chinese retaliation.
The trade deal struck Monday with Mexico is a major respite for the U.S. agriculture sector after enduring one trade disruption after another. But the Trump administration has a long way to go to restore any semblance of normality to the international marketplace that farmers and ranchers increasingly depend on to sell their crops.
The Department of Agriculture may have addressed many of the lingering questions about its trade assistance package with a Monday announcement detailing many of the relevant figures, but inquiring producers are still wondering how many aspects of the plan will be sorted out.
Trade and agriculture issues may play unusually prominent roles in congressional races this fall as Democrats look to seize control of the House and hang on to Senate seats they hold in farm states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
USDA today announced details for roughly half of the long-awaited $12 billion aid package of payments and market support to help producers impacted by ongoing trade disputes with China, Mexico, the European Union, Turkey and other countries.