Flurry of Action Holds Major Ag Implications

A flurry of activity over the last week could bode well for agriculture. Over the weekend, President Trump met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit with China, which has since agreed to purchase more U.S. ag products. Trump also agreed to not increase tariffs on China in January. Meanwhile, following the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, Trump said he wants to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement in six months, which will be replaced by the USMCA. The move to terminate NAFTA is an effort to pressure the next Congress to approve the USMCA. Lawmakers could also soon take up the farm bill, which some thought could come this week, though the schedule of Congress is muddied by the passing of President George H.W. Bush, who will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for a portion of this week. Trump also said he may also be willing to allow an extension to appropriation bills that are needed by Friday, which include funding to the Agriculture Department, because of the expected limited schedule this week for Congress. All this comes as a fresh farm economic forecast predicts that farm income could drop another 12 percent in the next year.