U.S. needs more trade pacts as a hedge against China – August 23, 2023

U.S. needs more trade pacts as a hedge against China

China is a golden market and a potential pothole for U.S. food and ag exports, said 20 farm and agribusiness groups in a letter to presidential aspirants. The letter, delivered ahead of the first debate among Republican contenders on Wednesday, called for diversification of the export market, through new free-trade agreements, to avoid overreliance on China, which buys $1 of every $5 in farm exports.

Project to connect small forest owners and carbon markets

The U.S. Forest Service will provide up to $150 million for a project to link small-acreage and underserved forest owners with the emerging climate market, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. The USDA said forest owners with small amounts of land were often fenced out of carbon markets by contracts aimed at large tracts or that posed high start-up costs.


China-bashing rouses worries: States across the country “are leaning into anti-Chinese sentiment,” including restrictions on foreign ownership of agricultural land and businesses, and drawing backlash from business groups worried about protectionism. (New York Times)

FDA food leader ‘imminent’: Appointment of the new FDA deputy commissioner for food was “imminent,” said FDA commissioner Robert Califf; the job was created as part of a reorganization of FDA’s food-safety offices. (The Hagstrom Report)

Oppose farm bill ‘scams’: “Big Ag boondoggles” that may be pitched as climate-smart provisions in the farm bill include federal cost-share funds for manure digesters, crop subsidies that indirectly aid ethanol, and ineffective carbon offsets, said an environmental group. (Food and Water Watch)

Bumper Russian wheat crop: This year’s wheat crop in Russia could be the second-largest on record at 92.1 million tonnes, up 5 million tonnes from the July estimate due to higher yields per hectare in the Central and Volga regions, says consultancy SovEcon. (Sizov Report)

Don’t moon the sunflowers: A sunflower farm near Portsmouth, in southeastern England, asked sightseers to “please keep your clothes on” following at least four naked photo shoots since the farm opened for the season on July 28. (Independent)

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