Farm & Ranch - March 2020


MARCH 2020

TRADE from Page F2

... It really got us bottled up.” Such labor issues are starting to be resolved there, but are being seen in South Korea and oth- er places, he added. China agreement fixes Tariffs and oth- er trade access issues in China and other countries continue to be a focus for U.S. ag producers and farm or- ganizations. A September anal- ysis by Nebraska Farm Bureau Chief Economist Jay Rempe estimated retaliato- ry tariffs on U.S. ag exports could cost Nebraska producers $943 million in reve- nues for 2019. The 2018 farm level income loss- es estimated in an earlier analysis were

with a slower-growing economy. “It will be difficult, but I’d rather have a strong economy than the alternative,” Doud said. One help came March 2 when China approved a tariff “exclusion.” He said that makes U.S. soybeans subject to the same tariff rate Brazil pays. The Brazil soybean harvest is 75% done and will be a record crop, Doud said, which also is a market growth issue for U.S. growers. “By fall, it becomes our time,” he said. Doud believes U.S. growers can see soybean sales equal to or better than the totals seen before the past two years of higher tariffs. “But what’s normal now is hard to say,” he added.

$695 million to more than $1 billion. The hardest hit com- modities listed in those reports were soybeans, corn and pork. Doud said Tuesday completing the ag com- ponent in the phase one deal with China re- quired 33 meetings with his China counterpart. “There are 57 things we fixed,” he said. “I think we fixed every- thing we knew of except one.” He later told the Hub that each of those 57 technical fixes has a timeline ranging from a few days to several months. “So far, we’re doing really well,” Doud said. “Despite the coro- navirus, we haven’t missed a deadline yet.” He also said the con- versation with China has changed. There now will be monthly

meetings between ca- reer-level trade staff in both countries, quar- terly meetings at his administrative level and two meetings a year between chief trade rep- resentatives. Doud said if an issue isn’t resolved or a com- mitment isn’t fulfilled, the aggrieved country “has the ability to apply tariffs proportionate to the issue and the other country can’t retaliate.” A big step in progress is to have approved-to- export-to-China lists of an estimated 2,000 U.S. meat and dairy compa- nies. Doud said the approv- al process for poultry started in mid-Novem- ber and it took 60 days before the first poul- try was sent to China. Pork also has worked through the process. In about a week, a sim-

ilar 60-day process will start to work through details such as the ap- proved facilities list and labeling requirements, Doud said. He told the Hub that Australia has sent a lot of beef to China, but its future supplies will be hurt by recent drought and wildfire damages. “Our hope is that we can get our products in there (China), especially more beef,” Doud added. “... Beef demand around the world is bigger than we can supply, especial- ly grain-fed.” Soybean sales tough He acknowledged that regaining soybean sales to China won’t be a “short-term situation,” because Brazil has ramped up production as a lower-cost exporter

said Doud, a Mankato, Kansas, native who previously was presi- dent of the Commodity Markets Council, se- nior professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association chief econ- omist. Higher U.S. and world production of commodi- ties also affects exports. “That’s a whole lot of meat (or grain) we have to find something to do with,” Doud said. The coronavirus has become another trade factor. He said that when the outbreak in China resulted in orders for people to stay home, “we didn’t have people at the ports to drive the trucks


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