U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai today delivers a speech on the Biden administration’s approach to bilateral trade relations with China. American farm groups will have many questions as they listen to his remarks:
Will the US work with China on a “phase two” deal? Will the Biden administration continue to maintain tariffs on Chinese products, thereby ensuring that retaliatory Chinese tariffs remain on American agricultural products? What is being done to ensure that China will keep its broken promises in the “phase 1” agreement?
Farmer groups, including the US Wheat Associates and the USA Rice Federation, hope to be assured that the United States will continue to work through the World Trade Organization to pressure China to quit. ‘it is reforming its import quotas and agricultural subsidies.
“We want the (Biden) administration to take the next steps in the WTO litigation process to hold China accountable for the compliance requirements” of the TRQ and domestic support cases, a spokesperson for USA Rice.
Vilsack announces loan guarantees
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will today announce the long-awaited details of a loan guarantee program designed to expand the processing capacity of meat and poultry.
The USDA said in July it would spend $ 500 million “to expand the processing capacity of meat and poultry so that farmers, ranchers and consumers have more choices in the market.” The department has received thousands of comments on how it should spend the money.
Vilsack and the White House said last month that excessive market concentration in the meat sector had squeezed both consumers and farmers during the pandemic at the same time meat processors were making more money.
The meat packers have dismissed the charges of “profiteering”. They argue that a combination of factors, including the pandemic and a labor shortage, have kept transformers from operating at full capacity.
For more on DC’s political agenda this week, read our The week ahead in Washington.
Biden’s agenda paused
President Joe Biden expresses his confidence that Congress will embrace his top political priorities – a bipartisan infrastructure and the broader set of social programs and climate policy Build Back Better. But the way forward is far from clear after Democratic House leaders on Friday overturned a vote on the infrastructure bill.
Biden sided with the progressives in tying the passage of the infrastructure bill to the approval of the larger budget reconciliation measure.
“I believe I can do it,” Biden told reporters over the weekend. “I think when the American people know what’s in there, we can do it.”
There is no immediate urgency to passing the infrastructure bill because the Senate gave Congress final approval to a bill extending federal spending authority on highways for 30 days. Authorization for the road program expired on Thursday; the now blocked infrastructure bill would have reauthorized spending.
Beef and dairy need an appropriate GHG measuring stick, according to the paper
Using measures that properly take into account the contribution of short-lived gases such as methane is key to helping the cattle and dairy industry show how it can achieve net zero warming, says a new article from the University of California, Davis.
With the right measuring stick, “targets for stopping temperature rises can be achieved by achieving net zero CO2 emissions combined with stable or slightly declining emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as methane.” , indicates the document.
Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis air quality specialist, and Sara Place, sustainability manager at Elanco Animal Health, say in the paper that “the status quo will not allow the US beef and commodity industries. dairy products to achieve net zero warming “. But they say that goal would be “within reach, as new and existing innovations that reduce GHG emissions become more widely available and adoption of those innovations is encouraged.”
Most of the methane emissions from beef cattle production come from cattle on pastures, not those in feedlots. Therefore, the provision of feed additives, the development of low methane emission breeding strategies and / or other innovations will be required, write Mitloehner and Place.
US and Vietnam resolve wood friction, strengthen ties
The United States welcomes Vietnam’s new pledges to keep “illegally harvested or traded” timber out of its supply chain. This is the latest positive development in the United States’ relationship with Vietnam, a country that American farmers and ranchers see as a growing market for their agricultural products.
“With this agreement, Vietnam will provide a model – both for the Indo-Pacific region and the world – for full enforcement against illegal timber,” USTR Katherine Tai said on Friday.
Vietnam announced in August that the country would cut tariffs on US corn, wheat and pork. Details have yet to be released, but the promise has garnered applause from groups like the US Wheat Associates and the National Pork Producers Council.
Stone-Manning Resists Questions About Past To Win BLM Job
Tracy Stone-Manning survived a murderous confirmation process to become the new director of the Bureau of Land Management. The agency manages about one in 10 hectares in the United States, including 155 million acres of pasture. Republican senators in the West accused her of trying to whitewash her past involvement in a tree-planting incident in Idaho.
Kaitlynn Glover, executive director of natural resources for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, called the BLM “an important partner for western ranchers.” Glover said the NCBA expects Stone-Manning “to follow the law, support multi-use management and recognize the important role ranchers play in the management and conservation of these great landscapes.”
National Wildlife Federation CEO Collin O’Mara said Stone-Manning “will bring visionary leadership and a collaborative management style that will restore and revitalize our public lands and waters.”
Take note: Although very critical of grazing earlier in her career, Stone-Manning said during her confirmation hearing that she would work to reduce the time it takes for ranchers to obtain permits.
He said it. “Everyone is frustrated. It’s part of being in government ”- President Joe Biden, speaking to reporters on Saturday about inaction on the infrastructure bill.
Questions? Tips? Comments? Email Philip Brasher at [email protected]