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Agricultural News

US Grains Council Highlights Positive Narrative in Trade Overshadowed by Din of Negative Coverage

Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:50:35 CDT

US Grains Council Highlights Positive Narrative in Trade Overshadowed by Din of Negative Coverage In recent years, trade has taken centerstage as the agriculture industry’s most prominent concern as the various commodity groups search for new market opportunities in the wake of shuttered export destinations due to geo-political tension and the collective realization that in order to avoid similar situations in the future, market share and dependence must be more diversified. The Trump Administration has continued to resolve this issue through its ongoing efforts to negotiate bilateral free trade agreements with some of the leading global importers. While much of the trade news distributed lately casts more of a pessimistic shadow, US Grains Council Vice President Kim Atkins says, the reality is that there is actually much more optimism being seen in agricultural trade today. She highlighted some of the bright spots in the US grain market right now and addressed those challenges that are receiving more coverage in the news these days during the 2019 Commodity Classic with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

“Certainly, every day there is something new happening in terms of negotiations on the USMCA and renegotiating KORUS and now everyone’s eyes are on the China situation. But, the exciting thing for us as the Grains Council, is the increases in demand that are happening around the world,” Atkins said. “Despite the current trade challenges, we’ve seen record trade numbers out of the United States. Demand for course grains and coproducts including ethanol, is really on the rise.”

With the US facing growing competition in the global marketplace, especially from the Black Sea Region, she contends it is more important than ever for US agriculture to have a seat at the table as the Administration works to negotiate more trade deals, like the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. While this treaty awaits Congressional approval, she says the USGC is hopeful that its ratification will happen soon so producers can continue on with certainty and greater opportunity as the Administration flirts with the threat of withdrawing from the current NAFTA treaty as a pressure tactic. She says she is also encouraged by the US Trade Representative’s office which has recently expressed a desire to initiate other talks with nations including Japan and Vietnam where there is believed to be a real demand for US grain. Atkins says the US grains industry has collectively resolved to support the President’s trade agenda and is encouraging producers to do the same.

“It’s going to take a lot of grassroots effort. The USGC itself doesn’t lobby, but our sister organizations do and I know they’re going to be spending a lot of time getting that movement going,” she said. “Mexico is one of the top customers for many of the products we represent and they’re a growing opportunity for ethanol. So, for us, it would be a real disadvantage to not have that trade agreement in place.”



You can here Horn's complete conversation with Atkins by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below
right-click to download mp3


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