From CBW News Desk


U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the government of Tunisia and the United States have finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia.  This announcement follows meetings between U.S. and Tunisian officials on the safety and wholesomeness of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products.

“President Trump continues to prioritize the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products, and we welcome Tunisia’s agreement to begin imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “New access to the Tunisian market is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports of U.S. agricultural products.”

“I’m convinced that when the Tunisians get a taste of U.S. beef, poultry, and eggs, they’re going to want more. These products coming into Tunisia are safe, wholesome, and very delicious,” said Secretary Perdue. “At the direction of President Trump, USDA remains committed to opening up new markets across the globe. While we continue to supply Tunisia’s domestic animal proteins sector with quality U.S. grains and oilseeds, I have no doubt that U.S. beef, poultry, and eggs will only help increase competitiveness and consumer choice within Tunisia.”

In 2018, U.S. exports of agricultural products to Tunisia exceeded $264 million. Over 90 percent of exports were corn, soybeans, or corn and soy products.  Initial estimates are that Tunisia would import annually $5-10 million of beef, poultry, and egg products from the United States, with additional growth over time.


Negotiations begin for U.S. and Japan

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement regarding the beginning of negotiations between the U.S. and Japan for a free-trade agreement. 

USCA President Kenny Graner had this to say about the progress, “USCA and producers across the country have been waiting patiently for talks to begin between the U.S. and Japan on a free-trade agreement. Japan represents key market access and potential for U.S. born and raised beef and U.S. producers are eager to begin addressing tariff and quota issues.”

 “There is a demand for U.S. born and raised beef in Japan and U.S. producers are ready to meet that need. USCA looks forward to working with the Administration as these negotiations continue.”


WTO finds China inconsistent with 

tariffs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that China has administered its tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat, corn, and rice inconsistently with its WTO commitments.  Contrary to those commitments, China’s TRQ administration is not transparent, predictable, or fair, and it ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain.

This panel report is the second significant victory for U.S. agriculture this year, and, together with the victory against China’s excessive domestic support for grains, will help American farmers compete on a more level playing field. 

“This second important victory for the United States further demonstrates that President Trump will take all steps necessary to enforce trade rules and to ensure free and fair trade for U.S. farmers. The Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.

China’s grain TRQs have annually underfilled.  USDA estimates that if China’s TRQs had been fully used, it would have imported as much as $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice in 2015 alone. 

“Making sure our trading partners play by the rules is vital to providing our farmers the opportunity to export high-quality, American-grown products to the world,” said Secretary Perdue. “Today’s announcement is another victory for American farmers and fairness in the global trade system. We will use every tool available to gain meaningful market access opportunities for U.S. grains and other agricultural products.”