Blue Diamond Almond Facts January-February 2023


efforts by third parties, the conflict has not stopped and does not appear to be ending. It is reliably reported that both China and India are working with Russia against Ukraine. U.S. policy is still not clear that the U.S. wants Ukraine to win the war. The U.S. is supporting Ukraine with dollars and weapons, but there is no clear policy. U.S. relations with China continue to be difficult. The U.S. continues to pass legislation that China finds offensive. This includes defense funding and defense equipment for Taiwan and the prohibition of certain Chinese companies from operating in the U.S. The U.S. is moving to allow Taiwan to open an official office in Washington. There are ongoing trade discussions with Taiwan. The speculation that China will invade Taiwan in the foreseeable future continues to grow and be discussed openly. Additionally, China has increased its control in Hong Kong. North Korea has resumed firing missiles in an open hostile fashion. If a new war occurs in any of these regions or expands in the Ukraine/Russia war, it is predictable that it will have an adverse impact on almond exports. One example is that if China cuts off shipping lanes in the South China Sea, trade deliveries will be impacted. This will further the current supply chain difficulties. This Administration is not disposed to enter into new Free Trade Agreements. India, the UK, and Kenya have made it clear that each country would like to establish an FTA with the U.S. No progress has been made to adopt any of these. Trade discussions continue with Africa, China, and the EU. The Administration has started talks with 13 Pacific Rim Countries known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Agreement. Commerce will lead the discussions covering supply chain, clean energy, anti-corruption, and tax. USTR

will cover labor standards, agriculture regulations and digital rules. Tariff rates are not part of this negotiation. The Administration has also begun trade discussions known as the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity. This also does not include tariff negotiations. Despite a lot of hard work by both Democrats and Republicans, it has not been possible to pass legislation which will provide a legal workforce to harvest agricultural crops or work at dairies. The latest effort was to include legislation in the Omnibus funding bill that passed last month to keep the government open and running, but it was not successful. The Omnibus bill that funded the government through the remainder of this fiscal year was over 4,100 pages in length. It was so big that Congress had to also pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until the end of December to allow the Omnibus bill to be enrolled. This is a technical requirement before a bill is sent to the President to be signed. The President will sign the Omnibus bill when it reaches him. With inflation still impacting millions, it can be anticipated that the Administration will continue to work to stop it. This may include additional legislation and regulations that they believe may help.

Blue Diamond Advocate Julian B. Heron, Partner, Tuttle, Taylor & Heron



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