In a White House news conference Friday, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of improving trade ties between the two countries, a welcome sign for the Ag sector still reeling from the loss of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump has repeatedly said he prefers bilateral deals and the U.S. “will seek a trading relationship that is free, fair and reciprocal.”

Abe says he still believes in the goal of the TPP, but stresses a new plan for strengthening trade with the U.S. is welcome.

The USDA’s latest global grain outlook shows little change in the international grain supplies as U.S. producers gear up for the 2017 planting season.

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for February was highlighted by an increase in U.S. wheat exports, a jump in domestic corn use, and steady soybean supply and use figures.

The report didn’t address the upcoming U.S. planting season for major crops like corn and soybeans and had a heavy focus on ramifications of international grain movement.

The American Sugar Alliance again came to the defense of government programs that keep floods of foreign sugar out of the U.S. through a tariff quota system.

The U.S. International Trade Commission held yet another hearing as part of an ongoing investigation into tariffs and other trade policy that began about 25 years ago.

Sugar is just a part of the wide-ranging ITC investigation, but ASA officials say it’s important they understand just how critical sugar policy is to growers and processors.

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