Trade Update

Over the holiday break we saw various actionable items in the trade world, as well as a few on the horizon that ASA wants to make soybean growers aware of.

The first is that on Dec. 20, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) entered into force for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. This is a revised version of the TPP agreement from which President Trump withdrew the United States on his third day in office. CPTPP enters into force on Jan. 14 for Vietnam. With the CPTPP entering into force it is imperative that the U.S. move quickly to negotiate FTA with Japan and other TPP countries to not loss additional market share from the CPTPP.

We also saw on Jan.1 the revised U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force. The revised KORUS agreement was negotiated by President Trump in 2018, but did not include changes to the agriculture chapters.

On Jan.3, lawmakers returned to Washington for the start of the 116th Congress amid a partial government shutdown over President Trump’s demand for $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Democrats take control of the House for the first time since 2010, while Republicans remain in charge of the Senate. The government shutdown has also halted payments being made under the Market Facilitation Payment program. USDA will need to issue guidance as the shutdown continues through the Jan. 15 registration deadline.

Lastly, the 90 days negotiations between President Trump and President Xi will continue with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish and Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass expected to lead a delegation to Beijing for trade talks on Jan. 7. If successful, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He could visit the United States for negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other Trump administration officials.

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