Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who insists he’s optimistic about a farm economy rebound this year, faces a pair of congressional hearings this week where he is certain to face further grilling about trade prospects and future of the Market Facilitation Program.
President Donald Trump says he wants a trade agreement with India, but suggested Tuesday that a partial pact will come first, followed by a more comprehensive deal later this year or after the election.
China has committed to buy at least $80 billion in U.S. farm products over the next two years and the country also agreed to sweeping structural changes that promise to improve trade on a more permanent basis for U.S. beef, pork, rice, corn, wheat, soybeans and other commodities.
Trade remains the top concern for American agriculture heading into 2020, with looming uncertainty about whether the Chinese will make promised increases in commodity purchases, and whether President Donald Trump will provide another round of trade assistance to U.S. producers.
Federal rules for disclosing biotech food ingredients officially start taking effect Wednesday, but manufacturers and retailers don’t have enough information yet from USDA on how to comply with the regulations, say industry officials.