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Trump tweet appears to back away from rejoining TPP

President Donald Trump this week appeared to extinguish the glimmer of hope he offered U.S. farmers last week over rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty. After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, Trump suggested there was one area where they would have to agree to disagree: the TPP, which Trump pulled the U.S.

Schumer asks Trump to make NY dairy part of NAFTA talks with Canada

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer asked President Donald Trump's administration on Monday to make dairy trade with Canada a priority in any effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Schumer, D-N.Y., visited Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Aurelius, Cayuga County, to draw attention to how Canadian trade practices have affected the $101 million milk processing plant that opened in 2014.

Canadian Milk Protein Imports Declining

Canadian imports of milk protein substances (MPS) declined in 2017, after reaching a peak in 2016. Canada’s cheese production, which has used increasing volumes of MPS, and cheese consumption have grown twenty percent over the past five years, reaching approximately 475,000 metric tons in 2017. In February 2017, Canada introduced class 7, a milk price class that provides Canadian manufacturers access to milk for ingredient processing.

Farm bill changes expand legal entities and family eligibility for commodity programs

While most of the focus on the House farm bill is on changes to nutrition programs, a new kerfuffle has cropped up over changes to farm programs that would benefit LLCs, S corporations and farmers who want to enroll cousins, nieces and nephews for commodity payments. The changes, if they become law, would expand the eligibility of pass-through entities for farm-program payments to include limited-liability corporations and S-corps, as a way to avoid adjusted gross income caps for commodity payments.

Even if Trump wants to rejoin TPP, that ship may have sailed

One week into his term, President Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which had been intended to help the U.S. and allies rein in China’s push for economic dominance. The U.S. withdrawal amounted to a unilateral gift to China. Now, 15 months later, in the midst of a bilateral trade face-off with China, President Trump announced during a meeting with farm-state agricultural interests that the U.S. may “rejoin” TPP and asked his advisers to prepare options.U.S. markets surged in response to the good news that the U.S.

ASPCA joins lawsuit over USDA organic rules

The ASPCA and Animal Welfare Institute have joined the Organic Trade Association in its lawsuit against USDA for not implementing new organic livestock standards. The original lawsuit, filed in federal court last September, was aimed at USDA’s repeated delays in implementing the standards that were finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Trump says he’s in no hurry to finish NAFTA. That’s good because it may take awhile

Diplomats from the United States, Canada and Mexico had hoped to announce progress toward a replacement for the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement by Friday, when regional leaders are scheduled to meet in Peru for the Summit of the Americas. President Trump’s decision to skip the meeting to monitor the Syrian situation reduced pressure to make a public statement. “We don’t have as many concrete results as you may have expected,” said one individual familiar with the talks, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Immigration judge quotas will not eliminate the backlog crisis

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has established performance goals for the immigration judges in an effort to deal with the immigration court backlog crisis. In addition to meeting at least half of the deadlines for specified types of cases, judges will have to complete at least 700 cases-a-year to receive a “satisfactory” performance rating. They currently average 678 cases-a-year. The National Association of Immigration Judges opposes the performance goals.

USDA orders volume controls on cranberries

Cranberry handlers were ordered by the USDA to withhold from U.S. consumers 15 percent of the 2017 crop to raise prices that farmers receive. The reduction applies to cranberries grown by approximately 1,100 farmers in 10 states, including Oregon and Washington. Growers and handlers petitioned the USDA for volume controls to chip away at a huge surplus.The USDA projects the order will divert as many as 110 million pounds of cranberries to charities, animal feed or foreign markets.

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