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Administration lifts GMO crop ban for U.S. wildlife refuges

The Trump administration has rescinded an Obama-era ban on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in dozens of national wildlife refuges where farming is permitted.

The agriculture industry is losing its voice in American politics

Over the past few decades, agribusiness contributions to politics have declined substantially. Lobbying spending by agribusiness as a percentage of total lobbying spending has decreased since 2008, even in election years. Contributions have also gotten slightly more partisan, with more and more contributions going to the Republican Party. Moreover, the composition of the vital, influential Farm Bill has shifted significantly since 2000; its main focus has become funding for food assistance programs rather than protections for farmers.

U.S. trade gap widened in June

The U.S. trade deficit expanded in June at the fastest rate since November 2016, underpinned by a stronger dollar and buoyant economic growth. The trade deficit in goods and services increased 7.3% in June from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted $46.35 billion, the Commerce Department said Friday. Exports fell 0.7% from May, while imports into the U.S. increased 0.6% on the month. The data confirmed economists’ expectations that a narrowing trade deficit earlier this year was likely to reverse, despite a renewed focus on trade policy from President Trump.

Farm groups go on anti-tariff blitz after Trump offers trade aid

arm groups are going on the offensive with a multimillion-dollar advertising and advocacy campaign against President Donald Trump’s tariffs just days after the administration rolled out a $12 billion bailout for farmers harmed by a mounting trade war. The launch of the campaign also comes as Trump is due Thursday in Iowa and Illinois, where he is likely to reassure farmers growing increasingly anxious over trade retaliation that has targeted soybeans, pork and other major farm commodities.

The casualties of Trump’s trade war

The story of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in Pueblo, Colorado, is a classic tale of American industry. It was founded in the late 19th century, and its mines, forges and quarries grew into a company of 15,000 people and the largest steel mill in the West. Yet even this behemoth, once part of the Rockefeller empire, could not endure. When the Reagan administration toppled barriers to free trade in the 1980s, CF&I bowed to foreign competition.

Imperiled wildlife are caught in a political tug-of-war

As temperatures climb to triple digits and fires rage from California to Colorado, Western lawmakers and the Trump administration are turning up the heat on the Endangered Species Act. On July 12, the conservative Western Congressional Caucus, which was founded to “fight federal overreach” and advocates for extractive industries, introduced a  nine bill ESA reform package. And in a separate move, the Trump administration is proposing to change how federal agencies implement the law. A common thread in the bills is a push to give more authority to the Interior Secretary and states.

Opinion: Trumps $12 billion PR stunt

Despite strong continued support for President Trump in rural America, farmers fear they will bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs from the president’s trade war.  Farm country can ill afford it: In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted 2018 crop profits would hit a 12-year low. Dairy farmers’ prices have fallen 30% in two years, while pork producers have seen a price drop of roughly $20 per head. Overall farm incomes are down nearly 50% from 2013. Long before the trade war began, I and many other farmers feared we were in a farm crisis as bad as that of the 1980s.

AFIA applauds passage of bill to improve process for new animal drug approval

he American Feed Industry Association commends Congress for sending a bill to the president this week for signature - the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (H.R. 5554). This bipartisan legislation will continue providing the necessary resources to support the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine with completing more expeditious reviews of new animal drugs and improving FDA’s review and approval process for animal food ingredients.

Dairy labeling and added sugar labeling for maple make the omnibus spending bill

Dairy labeling makes a cameo appearance: When debating the so-called minibus, H.R. 6147, on Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) offered an amendment that, in effect, would block FDA's planned effort to crack down on having the term "milk" used to market plant-based alternatives like soy and almond beverages. The proposal was handily defeated 14-86, Jen and Kaitlyn write. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said during the POLITICO Pro Summit last month that the agency will soon issue a guidance document outlining changes to its "standards-of-identity" for labeling milk.

U.S. Share of World Economic Growth: Implications for U.S. Trade Policy

Between 1980 and 1985, the U.S. accounted for 24.6% of world economic growth. Since then, 2 distinct periods emerge, with the millennium being the break point. Until 2000, U.S. share fluctuated around a very slight downtrend. U.S. share of world economic growth was still 24.1% from 1995 to 2000. Since 2000, U.S. share has dropped at an annual rate of around -0.7 percentage point per year. U.S. share was 12.6% of world growth between 2012 and 2017.

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