NAFTA Talks re Ag Tariffs; Hoof & Mouth Vaccines
**All signs point to a full-speed-ahead renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the U.S. meat sector is hopeful the three governments involved will be amenable to the ag sector’s desire, for the most part, to be left alone.
Ag groups have been accepting of the administration’s desire to work on NAFTA, so long as the duty-free access many products currently enjoy in Canada and Mexico isn’t affected.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Phil Seng says it’s hard to improve upon zero percent tariffs currently in place, but the unpredictable nature of trade talks raises concerns.
**American livestock organizations are pleading for Congress to commit three-quarters of a billion dollars in the upcoming farm bill for a 5-year plan to vastly expand USDA’s vaccine stock for a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
The virus is extremely contagious and infects all types of cloven-hooved domestic livestock and wild species, often killing young animals.
**The Trump administration wants a complete picture of why the U.S. is running a $740 billion trade deficit in goods.
That’s why the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative are working on a massive analysis and asking industry representatives to help.
Many in the U.S. Ag sector are in agreement that farm-product exports are a bright spot in international trade, but some groups are doing what they can to help point out difficulties with foreign markets.