Tag Archives: TRADE

U.S. Files Trade Dispute Cases with WTO

The U.S filed five separate trade cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging tariffs, many on agriculture products, imposed in response to tariffs announced by President Trump on aluminum and steel. The five countries are China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Turkey. With respect to tariff imposed by China, we previously reported on … Continue Reading

Trade Dispute with China Worries Agriculture; USDA Vows Support

 The U.S. agricultural industry has voiced concerns about potential financial losses due to the ongoing trade dispute with China, notwithstanding U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s assurance last April that farmers will be protected. By way of background, on June 15, President Trump announced that the U.S. will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in … Continue Reading

Food Policy Summary

In the last week there have been a number of interesting developments in food policy.  Each is in early development, but worthy of a brief note. President Trump, in a meeting regarding Chinese tariffs with Republican lawmakers from agricultural states, indicated a willingness to reconsider participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), perhaps as a means … Continue Reading

More on Tariff Dispute with China: USDA Secretary Says Farmers Will be Protected

The U.S. will protect its farmers during rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association yesterday (see Reuters). This follows a statement from USDA last week stating that it was looking for ways to shield farmers from the conflict between China and the U.S. … Continue Reading

China Announces New Tariffs on U.S. Agricultural Products

China has increased tariffs by up to 25% on 128 U.S. products—including many food products—in response to the increased tariffs on steel and aluminum imports announced by President Trump last month. The new tariffs, effective April 2, include 25% on U.S. pork and 15% on certain wine products, fruits, and nuts. China issued a statement … Continue Reading

EU/Japan Trade Agreement Preserves GIs Despite U.S. Concerns

The European Commission (EC) announced on December 8, 2017, that discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement had concluded. Among other things, the agreement ensures the protection in Japan of more than 200 Geographical Indications (GIs) for European agricultural products. In a press release on the agreement, EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil … Continue Reading

China to Lower Tariff on Certain Food and Other Items

China announced tariff cuts on 187 products—including baby powdered milk, avocados and mineral water—effective December 1, 2017. (See Financial Times (subscription required) and S. News.) The import tariffs will average 7.7%, down from the current 17.3%. In addition to foods, the reduced tariffs will impact selected health supplements, pharmaceuticals, clothing items, shoes and other consumer … Continue Reading

Geographical Indicators Create Trade Barriers, Says Dairy Industry

In a recent letter to Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, several dairy industry associations urged Japan to respect current trade relationships with respect to geographical indicators (GIs). Noting that Japan and the European Union (EU) are in the final stages of negotiating a free trade agreement, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the … Continue Reading

Cattle Producers Sue USDA to Reinstate COOL

As previously covered on this blog, in 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented country of origin labeling (COOL) rules, requiring meat labels to indicate where animals were born, raised, and slaughtered.  Meatpacking and livestock commodity groups in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico challenged the COOL requirements via appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and … Continue Reading

USDA Creates Trade Undersecretary Post

As background, Section 3208 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Pub. L. 113-70 (7 USC §6935) required the Secretary of Agriculture to propose a reorganization of international trade functions for imports and exports, including a plan for the establishment of the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (U/Sec TFAA). On May 11, 2017, … Continue Reading

Fishy Business: NOAA Finalizes Seafood Traceability Rule

For years, the seafood industry has grappled with the issue of “seafood fraud,” which includes the substitution of cheaper species for more expensive ones.  As previously covered on this blog, on February 5, 2016, the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a proposed rule to establish a new traceability program for certain seafood … Continue Reading

Will COOL Make a Come Back?

As previously covered on this blog, mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) rules for beef products have long been the subject of controversy and challenge, culminating in a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the COOL requirements violate U.S. trade obligations to Canada and Mexico and Congress repealing COOL as of December 21, 2015. With a … Continue Reading

EU Food Name System Could Cost U.S. Dairy Industry Billions

Geographic indications (GIs) identify specific geographic areas and are allowed for certain specialty food products. Only products that originate in the designated area may be labeled with the GIs. Examples in the U.S. are: Washington State Apples and Idaho Potatoes. The European Union (EU) has suggested extending GI protections to cheeses, such as parmesan, gorgonzola, … Continue Reading

Milk Matters

FDA launches electronic system to facilitate dairy exports. Companies that wish to export products to foreign countries must comply with U.S. laws and regulations, as well as the requirements of the export markets.  FDA provides certain resources that can be helpful to companies seeking to gain access to export markets, e.g., export certificates, lists of exporting … Continue Reading

Import(er) Alert: E-Filing Proposed Rule

FDA proposes e-filing requirements to facilitate product imports. FDA and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) work together to facilitate the admission of imported products into the U.S.  The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is a commercial trade processing system operated by CBP that helps automate and expedite the processing of imports and exports. Earlier … Continue Reading

Import Refusal Trends

Newly-issued report describes trends in FDA import refusals. FDA is responsible for overseeing the safety of the U.S. food supply, which includes significant quantities of imported food.  Due in part to resource constraints, FDA inspects only a fraction of the foreign facilities that produce food for the U.S. and physically examines only a small percentage … Continue Reading

Canadian Bacon

FSIS audit asks Canada to strengthen its food safety procedures. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the quality, safety, and labeling of meat, poultry, and egg products marketed in the United States.  In 2014, FSIS conducted an audit of Canada’s meat, poultry, and egg systems and found deficiencies that … Continue Reading

Sounds Fishy: New Seafood Traceability Program

NOAA proposes new traceability program for certain types of seafood. For years, the seafood industry has grappled with the issue of “seafood fraud,” which includes the substitution of cheaper species for more expensive ones.  Data from one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world indicate that snapper and tuna were mislabeled most frequently, … Continue Reading

Imports: Risky Business?

Survey of FDA import data suggests food imported from low-GDP countries may pose higher risks. Particularly now that FDA has issued a final rule to implement the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the food industry is more engaged than ever in the analysis of risks associated with foods … Continue Reading

Looser Livestock Export Rules

USDA loosens livestock export rules. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has regulatory authority over both the import and export of livestock products.  In the import context, APHIS works to ensure that products entering the U.S. meet the Agency’s entry requirements to exclude pests and diseases.  … Continue Reading

Tariff Trouble

WTO authorizes Canada and Mexico to impose over $1 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products related to country of origin labeling dispute. As previously covered on this blog, the U.S. has been dealing with the aftermath of a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements unfairly discriminate against … Continue Reading
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