January 16, 2018

Ag Secretary Perdue Offers Playful ‘Warning’ About Canadian Counterpart to Farm Bureau Members in Nashville

SonnyUSDA Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke to members of the American Farm Bureau during the closing general session on Monday in Nashville at the group’s annual convention and trade show.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay , Perdue’s counterpart from north of the border, spoke at the convention over the weekend and took questions from reporters on Sunday. He expressed his hope that the talks to renegotiate NAFTA would end without disruption to current ag trade among the three countries.

Secretary Perdue gave Farm Bureau members a playful ‘warning’ about his Canadian counterpart, and also a call to action.

The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada entered into force on January 1, 1994. NAFTA created the world’s largest free trade area and trade between the United States and its NAFTA partners has soared since the agreement was implemented.

Read more here.




Canadian Ag Minister Talks NAFTA at AFBF Convention in Nashville

Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, spoke at the opening session of the American Farm Bureau’s 2018 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Nashville.

MacAulay, who is the first Canadian agriculture minister to speak to Farm Bureau members at an annual convention, said that trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and building on common interests are the three areas the U.S. and Canada should focus on.


MacAulay said the main objective is to do no harm to agriculture.


President Trump will speak to attendees at the Farm Bureau’s convention Monday afternoon.

Farmers and ranchers looking for Trump to promise not to withdraw from NAFTA will likely be disappointed, however.

A senior White House official said that Trump will reiterate his desire for trade deals he considers fairer to the U.S., but the president will focus on other issues during his speech in Nashville.

Instead, Trump is expected to tout his deregulatory efforts and endorse recommendations to wire rural America for people living in remote parts of the country.

U.S. Trade Group Raises Concerns about Mexico’s Proposed Beef Grading Standards

beefThe Mexican government recently opened a proceeding in which grading standards are proposed for Mexican beef. Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) accepted public comments on the proposal through Dec. 19. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) filed comments in this proceeding, raising concerns about how English grade names could be used interchangeably with Spanish names. Thad Lively, USMEF senior vice president for trade access, explains that this could create confusion in the marketplace and diminish the value that the U.S. beef industry derives from the USDA grading system.

There are also significant differences that make interchangeable use of the English and Spanish grade names problematic, including differences in marbling scores and in the proposed procedures for determining carcass grades.