Assessing the 2020 Candidates – January 30, 2020

Assessing the 2020 candidates on trade, from Trump’s unilateralism to ‘insular’ Warren and Sanders


President Trump employs a policy of “aggressive unilateralism” that views agriculture’s trade war losses as collateral damage that can be mitigated by a multibillion-dollar bailout, say the authors of a paper on the 2020 presidential race. The paper says Michael Bloomberg is “perhaps the strongest supporter of free trade among the various Democratic candidates” while Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren “are the most protectionist.”


As Trump takes victory lap, Canada begins USMCA approval

President Trump led a 37-minute celebration of the new NAFTA on Wednesday, signing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on the White House lawn during a ceremony packed with laudatory descriptions of the “very, very special” tri-national free trade agreement.


Talks & Eats – Manhattan – Surf ‘n’ Turf: Can our seafood survive Big Ag and climate change?

As oceans warm, our major fisheries are shifting. At the same time, farm runoff is contributing to dead zones from the Gulf of Mexico to Long Island. Both of these issues – climate change and farming practices – affect the health of ocean ecosystems and, ultimately, the seafood that winds up on our plates.


Join moderator and best-selling author Paul Greenberg for a stimulating discussion Feb. 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m., at Subculture in Greenwich Village. VIP reception with drinks and bites beforehand.



Most farm bankruptcies since 2011 (AFBF): The 595 Chapter 12 “family farm” bankruptcy filings in 2019 were the highest total since 2011, when there were 637 filings, said the American Farm Bureau Federation. Wisconsin, grappling with a dairy crisis, recorded 57 bankruptcies in 2019, its highest total in a decade.


Herbicide makers expected dicamba complaints (Midwest Center): Monsanto and BASF anticipated receiving thousands of complaints of damage to neighboring fields from newly approved dicamba, according to internal company documents presented in a lawsuit. The companies have consistently blamed weather, applicator error, and other pesticides for the occurrences.


States ask flexibility on hemp (NASDA): The USDA should modify its rules on cultivating industrial hemp to allow 30 days to harvest a field after submitting samples for testing and to allow a THC content of 1 percent before a farmer is branded as negligent, said the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.


New lettuce investigation (Food Safety News): Health officials in Vermont and Nevada are working with federal agencies to investigate food-borne illnesses linked to lettuce served by a national restaurant chain.


Will coronavirus slow sales to China? (Reuters): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the outbreak of a new viral disease in China “is going to have some ramifications economy-wide, which we hope will not inhibit the purchase goal that we have for this year” under an agreement to de-escalate the trade war with China.

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