COVID-19 aid laws took prime precedence for the Biden Administration’s first two months, however as stimulus packages start to take impact President Biden and Congress will flip to different issues.
Trade might be a key subject for U.S. agriculture. How will the brand new administration and an influence change in Congress have an effect on trade offers?
Farm Press requested Extension economists Aaron Smith, College of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, and John Robinson, Texas A&M AgriLife, to weigh in on the challenges and alternatives going through the Biden Administration and Congress.
With a brand new administration and new trade negotiators, how will the trade dispute with China change, if in any respect?
AS — There’s a substantial amount of uncertainty, however within the brief time period it appears unlikely that the U.S. will need to do main renegotiations or revisions to the present trade deal. The present administration is specializing in COVID-19. As soon as the U.S. is past COVID, the administration will doubtless flip to home issues for the subsequent two years. These are more likely to embrace: negotiating a brand new farm invoice and environmental/local weather change insurance policies.
China has been shopping for massive quantities of agricultural merchandise and commodities from the U.S., but in addition from different nations (Canada, Brazil, the EU). There’s an actual robust demand pull from China proper now.
Info out of China at all times ought to be interpreted cautiously; nonetheless, the big ag purchases doubtless outcome from a mix of things: African Swine Fever (ASF) associated hog herd rebuild, decreased home manufacturing/over estimation of shares, client demand from the big and increasing center class, stockpiling key commodities, and China meals safety insurance policies.
What comes after the Section One trade settlement is a big unknown?
Extension economist John Robinson, Texas A&M AgriLife. (Picture courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife)
JR —The perfect reply is, I do not know. With nothing to again me up, I’m inclined to suppose that the Chinese language had been going to do what they thought was of their finest curiosity (shopping for cotton at low costs) no matter their Section One obligations. They occur to coincide, however that is only a coincidence. With nothing to again me up, I anticipate the Biden Administration can be much less stringent/powerful on China, which solely reinforces my first assertion.
The difficulty appears more likely to change from the Section One challenge to the Xinjiang human rights challenge. The U.S. presently has a ban on cotton and cotton merchandise from Xinjiang, the place 85% of Chinese language cotton is harvested. Assuming the ban in enforced and complete, China might need to import much more international cotton to run their textile/attire export trade.
Is the Biden Administration more likely to push for new negotiations with China, flip again to a pre-Trump posture of sustaining a tougher line with China?
AS — There’ll should be new negotiations. How these happen and the way they’re initiated can be essential to agriculture shifting ahead. Sadly, there’s not a lot being mentioned now.
JR — I’m not in any respect positive, however I do not anticipate them to be as onerous/powerful as Trump. I believe they are going to be extra nuanced, however whether or not that’s efficient or not remains to be seen.
How concerning the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Trade Settlement? Will that change in any respect?
AS — There are some issues proper now with Canada’s poultry and dairy Tariff Charge Quotas (TRQ) compliance that can doubtless be pushed by the USDA. Secretary Vilsack is effectively versed on issues with U.S. dairy entry to Canadian markets by his former place on the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Additionally issues with Mexico banning GMOs will should be addressed.
Some compliance disputes and entry discussions will happen, however with different extra urgent trade negotiations, it appears unlikely a USMCA overhaul can be a precedence within the subsequent few years.
JR– I might anticipate USMCA to be as useful to U.S cotton as NAFTA was … most instantly in supporting Mexican demand for imports of U.S. cotton.
Turkey and cotton, the place are we with that?
Extension Economist Aaron Smith, College of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. (Picture courtesy College of Tennessee)
AS — Nothing new that I’ve heard. The U.S. has nearly a half-million million bales exported to Turkey for the present advertising 12 months. Previous dumping accusations stay within the background.
JR — Final I heard, Turkey nonetheless has a punitive responsibility on imported U.S cotton. However that is not stopping Turkish mills from importing numerous U.S. cotton as a result of Turkey has gotten a few of China’s former European market share, I believe.
Any probability of enhancing trade with different Asian Nations?
AS — There’s a probability that multilateral trade agreements can be pursued quite than bilateral. It might be revisiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)/Complete and Progressive Settlement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreements or a brand new trade settlement within the area. Large alternatives exist for U.S. agricultural merchandise in Southeast Asia. Hopefully, this can be a precedence for the Biden administration. This may be utilized in a broader coverage initiative to handle issues with China.
JR — I suppose, however I do not have an actual really feel for it.
Any long-term results from the trade disputes?
AS — For agricultural exports proper now, no, however circumstances are at all times altering. COVID-19/trade disruption aid funds for U.S. agricultural producers may develop into a difficulty for trade negotiations/World Trade Group (WTO) compliance down the street, however I’ve not heard of issues shifting to the forefront right now.
JR — I believe trade disputes previous to COVID have been supplanted by the pandemic disruption after which the unfolding restoration.
Something I haven’t considered?
AS — Alternatives/challenges with Britain and the EU will achieve traction as soon as officers are in place.
Sturdy export gross sales of agricultural commodities had been the largest contributor to the substantial enhance in corn, soybean, wheat, and cotton costs from August 2020 to current and can proceed to play an important position, however market focus will now shift to climate and plantings within the U.S., which provides one other degree of unpredictability.