With U.S. ag exports coming off record highs over the past several years and supporting more than one million jobs according to USDA data, it's no surprise that during this, World Trade Week, ag is keeping a close eye on the latest movements in trade policy.
Kicking off the week was a meeting between USDA Secretary Vilsack and his counterparts from Mexico and Canada, where Mexico announced an expanded import ruling to allow increased potato imports from the U.S., and discussed lifted import restrictions on U.S. beef.
Also Monday, negotiations continued on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans Pacific Partnership, with TTIP talks ongoing in Arlington, Va., and TPP talks wrapping up Tuesday in Singapore.
"Things are moving along [on TPP], although not quite at the pace anyone would hope, but trade agreements are like that. It's very important for U.S. farmers because it opens up such a tremendous chunk of consumers to a fair trade basis," Tom Sleight, CEO of the U.S. Grains Council said this week in a USDA interview.
Meanwhile, the nomination of a new Chief Ag Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has moved on to the next step as the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday approved President Obama's nominee, Darci Vetter.
Read these agriculture trade stories and more using the links below:
1. Vilsack Meets with Mexico, Canada Counterparts to Discuss Ag Exports. Farm Futures
2. Trade Ministers See Headway on Trans-pacific Pact but Issues Remain. Reuters
3. TPP Negotiators Express Urgency Ahead of Singapore Meeting. Farm Progress
4. Talks on Asia-Pacific Trade Deal End With Little Progress. Wall Street Journal
5. Senate Committee Confirms Vetter as Chief Ag Trade Negotiator. Farm Futures
6. Trade Means Jobs and Providing for Global Community (commentary). American Soybean Association