July 27, 2016

USGC Members Gather In Louisville for Summer Meeting #grains16



As the public conversation about the merits of trade heats up, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) members are gathering in Louisville, Kentucky, for the export market development organization’s summer business meetings.

USGC delegates and guests at the 56th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting will hear from dynamic speakers on the impact of trade to U.S. agriculture and the grains sectors specifically as well as updates on USGC programs operating in more than 50 countries.

Presentations in the general sessions and topical breakouts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will also provide information on the economic impact of USDA export market development programs and specific hot topics including ethanol export promotion programs, feed grain market development and trade with the European Union.

“Exports of corn, sorghum and barley were worth nearly $12 billion to the U.S. economy last marketing year, with exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol worth another $4.6 billion,” said USGC Chairman Alan Tiemann, a farmer from Nebraska. “That is real economic impact on U.S. farmers, the agribusinesses who support their operations and our national livelihood.

“Those of us gathering in Louisville this week know how critical the grain trade is to our operations and are committed to growing it this year and long into the future.”

Also at the meeting, USGC Advisory Teams (A-Teams), which provide guidance and set priorities for the Council’s operations, will meet to hear mid-year reports on strategies to promote and expand exports in key markets.

Additional information about the meeting agenda, location and more is available here. Those not attending in person can follow along in the digital conversation on Facebook or Twitter #grains16.

U.S. Grains Council


Trump Takes Aim at Renegotiating NAFTA – TPP “Not Going to Happen”

At the Republican National Convention last night during his presidential nomination acceptance speech, Donald Trump declared that he would renegotiate or scrap the NAFTA trade deal if he is elected – and he also had sharp words about China’s trade practices along with the lingering TransPacific Partnership Agreement.  Trump touted “individual deals, with individual countries.”

Trump has described the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico as a U.S. job killer.

The North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump used last night’s speech to repeat his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s past support of free trade deals.

RNC Convention Trump on Trade

Clinton no longer supports NAFTA or TPP. During her first White House bid in 2007, she called NAFTA “a mistake.”  Clinton once hailed TPP as setting “the gold standard in trade agreements” during her time as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, but has since come out in opposition of TPP during her presidential bid.

Democrats host their national convention in Philadelphia next week.


Cattle Producers Urged to Make Voices Heard in the Elections

Woodall at ILIA ConferenceThe International Livestock Identification Association’s 70th Annual Conference is being hosted by the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association at the Ramada Plaza Suites in Fargo this week.

Colin Woodall, Vice President, Government Affairs for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Washington, DC,  gave producers an update on what’s happening on Capitol Hill — or in the case of the TransPacific Partnership trade deal – what’s not happening.

We spoke with him on the sidelines of the conference.

Woodall on TPP

It seems that the election season has given “trade deals” a black eye on the campaign trail.

Woodall on Trade

The Republican convention is underway with Donald Trump taking center stage – and the Democrats are gearing up for their convention to formally put Hillary Clinton on the November 8th ballot. We asked Woodall about what he’s heard about Tom Vilsack being a potential Vice President pick for Hillary Clinton.

Woodall on Elections

The main point Woodall stressed to the cattle producers at the conference — head to the polls on November 8th and vote.

Woodall on Voting