Tri-National Agricultural Accord – Denver, CO – October 17-19

Last week Gary attended the 2017 Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Denver. Sponsored by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), this annual meeting of the chief state and provincial agricultural officials of Canada, the United States, and Mexico was a unique opportunity to collaborate on a host of agriculture, trade, and development issues. Gary addressed delegates and attendees on October 18, where he discussed the future of NAFTA, as well as food safety, transportation, cross border movement, and other opportunities and challenges for agriculture in North America.

At the end of the Accord, NASDA and their counterparts from Mexico and Canada released a statement stressing the necessity of NAFTA for agriculture and calling on their respective federal governments to ensure a modernized NAFTA does not harm agriculture, which you can read here.

2018 MAP Allocation

On Wednesday, October 18 NAEGA received word that its 2018 Unified Export Strategy (UES) application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been accepted and NAEGA will receive funding under the Market Access Program (MAP) in 2018. MAP funding in 2018 for NAEGA will be limited to a $343,200 ceiling, $3,188 less than its 2017 ceiling.

A copy of NAEGA’s 2017 UES application is available here. For more information, please contact Ryan.

U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade – Washington, D.C. – October 20

The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade met last week at the American Farm Bureau Federation for a briefing from USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Jason Hafemeister. Under Secretary McKinney spoke about how he hopes to approach the role now that he is confirmed by the Senate and solicited input from industry representatives on all issues in his portfolio, including NAFTA and KORUS negotiations.

Trade Nominations U.S. Senate to Vote

On Tuesday the Senate Finance Committee held votes on three trade nominations during an executive session: Jeffrey Gerrish to be Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Gregory Doud to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator; and Jason Kearns to be a Member of the U.S. International Trade Commission. Mr. Doud and Mr. Kearns were confirmed by a voice vote; Mr. Gerrish was confirmed by a vote of 15-11.

You can read the official results of the votes here. Also, please take the time to read Mr. Doud’s statement to the Committee from earlier this month.

NAFTA Trucking Letter

This week NAEGA joined a multi-association letter coordinated by the National Retail Federation urging Ambassador Lighthizer not to eliminate NAFTA’s trucking provisions in any renegotiated NAFTA agreement. The letter requests that Ambassador Lighthizer recognize that companies depend on efficient border crossings to remain competitive, and that increasing trade in both directions is putting more and more pressure on our southern border land ports. Allowing Mexican trucks access to U.S. roads increases efficiency in border areas and alleviates truck traffic out of the commercial border zones

You can read a draft of the letter here.

COCERAL on Glyphosate

This week COCERAL was joined by EuropaBio, European Crop Protection, COPA COGECA and Consumer Choice Center in an advertisement in Politico regarding Glyphosate approval by the European Union. The European Union announced that it will soon vote on whether to approve Glyphosate. Widely used since 1974, the safety of Glyphosate has been thoroughly researched, with 90,000 pages of evidence and 3,300 peer reviewed studies confirming its suitability for sustainable agriculture. Both the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, along with many other scientific bodies worldwide, consider the herbicide to be safe.

You can read the advertisement here.

NAFTA Negotiations Extended

Originally intended to conclude in December 2017, schedulers are now conceding that talks to reform the North American Free Trade Agreement will stretch into at least February 2018. While both the U.S. and Mexico were hoping to finish negotiations before their respective 2018 federal elections, impasses on key issues have forced delegations from all three countries to accept that additional rounds, of possibly longer length, will be needed in order to reach any agreement.

You can read more about this development here.

Gregg Doud Confirmation Letter

On October 12, 2017 NAEGA joined a letter to the members of the Senate Finance Committee supporting the confirmation of Gregg Doud as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the USTR. In the letter, the signees affirmed the importance of the position in advancing agricultural interests at the highest levels of trade negotiations and emphasized Mr. Doud’s exemplary personal and professional background.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Enlist E3 Soybeans

U.S. farmers will now have access to Enlist E3 soybeans for 2018 planting through an agreement between Dow AgroSciences and ADM. Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to applications of 2, 4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate, which allows farmers to control the most resistant weeds while also curbing the development of weed resistance.

Read the press release here. To find out how to participate in this program, visit

Senate Confirms Deputy Secretary Censky and Under Secretary McKinney at USDA

On October 3 the Senate confirmed Steve Censky to be Deputy USDA Secretary and Ted McKinney to be Under Secretary for Trade with bipartisan support.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statement regarding the confirmation votes: “Steve Censky will help us be responsive to producers reeling from the effects of multiple hurricanes and also offer prudent counsel as Congress continues work on the 2018 Farm Bill.  Ted McKinney will take charge of the newly-created mission area focused on trade, and wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets. We eagerly await their arrival at USDA.” You can read the Secretary’s full statement here.