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Turkey farmers facing squeeze after Trump kills agriculture rules

Ike Horst raises 22,000 turkeys a year on his farm in the rolling hills of south-central Pennsylvania, selling them to a processing company that was providing him with enough of a nest egg that he hoped he could sell the farm and retire. But a Trump administration decision to block proposed agriculture regulations may blow up those plans, preserving the multibillion-dollar meat industry’s power over the smaller turkey farmers whose birds will grace the tables in millions of American homes this Thanksgiving.

USDA Awards Funds to Support Rural Veterinary Services

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 13 grants to support rural veterinary services and relieve veterinarian shortages in parts of the U.S. and its insular areas. The funding from NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “Rural veterinary practitioners address a variety of unique challenges related to the health and welfare of agricultural animals, public health concerns, and managing their practices,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy.

States Face Children’s Health Coverage Uncertainty

About two months after federal funding lapsed for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, state officials still don’t know exactly when they’ll run out of money or when Congress will renew funding — leaving families that depend on the program increasingly anxious about their benefits. At least a few states say that they could exhaust funds as soon as next month. States are growing more concerned about the program with just a few days left on the congressional calendar until December and no signs that lawmakers plan in the immediate future to renew funding. 

The Importance of NAFTA for the Agricultural Sector

Trade flows of agricultural commodities between the United States, Canada, and Mexico are very large. In 2016, US agricultural imports from Canada totaled $24.9 billion while US exports amounted to $25.3 billion. In the same year, US imports of agricultural products from Mexico reached $24.66 billion and US exports to Mexico were $17.68 billion. Generally, NAFTA has been operating very well except for a few irritants. Trade talks are notoriously slow and agriculture is typically a major point of contention. However, agriculture may not be a major obstacle in the current NAFTA negotiations.

Canada 'prepared for the worst' amid squabbles over NAFTA, Freeland says

Despite making progress on "bread and butter" issues, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said differences remain between Canada and the U.S. on a number of key chapters of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Speaking to reporters as the fifth round of negotiations concluded in Mexico City, the Toronto-area minister said "significant" sticking points include the U.S.

Trump's NAFTA trade war may derail some small-business manufacturers

The Trump administration's effort to win NAFTA concessions from Canada and Mexico is nearing its March deadline. Some small-business manufacturers fear their concerns will be neglected, including supply-chain disruptions for dealers and distributors, price increases they can't pass on to customers, even risk of bankruptcy.As much as 98 percent of exporting companies are small- and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

NAFTA Talks Have Hit a Wall After Mexico and Canada Resist U.S. Demands

The United States, Mexico and Canada failed to resolve any major differences in a fifth round of talks to rework the NAFTA trade deal, drawing a swift complaint from the Trump administration on Tuesday that the lack of progress could doom the process. The three nations have vowed to continue talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through March, but the yawning disagreements on core U.S. demands are piling pressure on negotiators to come up with fixes before Mexico’s 2018 presidential campaign begins in the spring.Mexico and Canada have rejected a U.S.

22 fishing boats pulled off water in federal crackdown on Codfather fraud racket

Federal regulators effectively pulled 22 active commercial fishing boats off Northeastern waters Monday after determining many of the vessels -- a good deal owned by "Codfather" Carlos Rafael -- were failing to accurately record catches.  The ruling, deemed "huge" and "unprecedented" by The Boston Globe, could hamstring many businesses in the Massachusetts fishing industry, in particular icehouses, fuel companies and others that supply boats.

Lawmakers Push Alcohol Tax Cut Despite Rising Drinking Rates

Deaths linked to alcohol are significantly more common than drug overdose deaths, but lawmakers may promote more drinking through a two-year tax break for producers of beer, wine and spirits as part of the Senate’s tax code overhaul. The tax break, for 2018 and 2019, would save alcohol producers $4.2 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. The provisions in the Senate Finance Committee’s tax plan were requested by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, but are based on a bill from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the committee’s top Democrat.

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