News items related to ag biotech, trade – and perhaps some other interesting items out there related to agriculture – will be posted on this page throughout the week (as the week progresses newly added items will be in green at bottom of sections).  Be sure to check in regularly!

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As we all know by now, Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States and will be taking office in January 2017.

Aside from a few protests primarily on college campuses or urban areas – conveniently organized by MoveOn.org, George Soros, et al, to stoke publicity via televsion images giving perceptions of rebellion – the peaceful transition of power in the U.S. is underway once again.  Just as it was in 2008 with Barack Obama being elected… just as it was after the 2000 with the Florida recount dragging through the end of that year before the country knew for sure whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would be the next Commander-in-Chief… and just as it has been after every single national American election whether the winner won both the Electoral College and popular vote or just the former.  Basically, every single time.

The system works, and it’s time to look ahead and be prepared for what policy challenges are in front of us.  Here, that revolves around agricultural technology and trade issues.  Therefore, below are some news items of interest that revolve around those items, and obviously trade was a key, key piece of the election campaign and it’s important to keep abreast of what’s going to happen on that front.

As past transitions have shown, campaign stump rhetoric doesn’t always transpire into actual governing or doesn’t become as dramatic as initially thought (although rolling back regulatory overreach would be quite welcome Trump Would Appoint Farmer to Lead EPA, Eliminate WOTUS Sept 29 at AgWeb).  President Obama ran for office sounding quite anti-trade and espousing many of the same themes as Donald Trump did this past year.

If a similar scenario is to unfold with the Trump Administration and trade, it may take some time for things to play out, as indicated by the info below bia Politico’s Morning Agriculture alert on Nov 11:

“President-elect Donald Trump’s administration could begin withdrawing from NAFTA in as little as 200 days after taking office, and it may finalize a decision to drop the TPP in its first 100 days, according to an internal transition team document described to POLITICO. Those two goals, if realized, could spell bad news for agricultural sectors dealing with surpluses – pork, for example – and complicate trade relations with Canada and Mexico – though it’s uncertain whether Trump will follow through on those designs once in the Oval.

The document described to POLITICO was produced by Trump’s D.C.-based transition team, which, apart from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, has had little contact with the president-elect so far. In other words, there’s no guarantee that Trump will take up every recommendation once he gets to the White House. The detailed, 21-page roadmap features a summary and rationale for the plan and is interspersed with quotes of policy promises Trump made on the campaign trail.”

But then, according to some news items below there are possibly some initial softening steps back being taken on campaign rhetoric.

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President Trump: What’s Next for Ag? – AgWeb – By Ben Potter (Nov 9)

“From Trump’s June 2015 announcement he would run for president all the way to the November 2016 presidential election, only one constant has held true – nothing goes quite as it has been predicted…”

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/president-trump-whats-next-for-ag-naa-ben-potter/

 

TRADE, TRADE ISSUES:

Top tax-writing Republican says TPP trade deal not dead in Congress – YahooNews! / Reuters (Nov 15)

Link: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/top-tax-writing-republican-says-tpp-trade-deal-134431362.html

Obama Administration Gives Up on Pacific Trade Deal – Wall Street Journal – By William Mauldin (Nov 11)

“Congressional GOP leaders indicated they wouldn’t consider Trans-Pacific Partnership in lame-duck session”

Link: http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-administration-gives-up-on-pacific-trade-deal-1478895824

Trade Under Trump – Foreign Policy – By Phil Levy (Nov 10)

“President-elect Trump managed to tone down his campaign rhetoric when it came to congratulating Clinton on the race she had run. It remains to be seen whether there will be any similar moderation in trade.”

Link: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/10/trade-under-trump/

America’s Brexit: What Trump means for world trade – CNNMoney – By Jethro Mullen (Nov 9)

“Global trade is stuck in a deep malaise and may even be suffering from “cardiac arrest””

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/09/news/economy/donald-trump-president-world-trade-nafta-tpp-ttip-china/

EU Trade Commissioner: Hard to Say What Trump Win Means for TTIP – Bloomberg Politics – By Amanda Billner (Nov 9)

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/trackers/2016-11-09/eu-trade-commissioner-hard-to-say-what-trump-win-means-for-ttip

EU-U.S. free trade deal is not dead after Trump victory: Germany – Reuters (Nov 9)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-reaction-ttip-idUSKBN13429M?il=0

Seems the Germans can’t make up their mind…

Transatlantic trade deal ‘not realistic’ under Trump, German official says – The Guardian – By Julian Borger (Nov 15)
McConnell dashes hopes for Pacific trade deal vote before Trump takes office – Reuters – By David Lawder (Nov 9)

“It’s certainly not going to be brought up this year,” McConnell said of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at a news briefing in Washington.

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trade-mcconnell-idUSKBN1343DW

China pushes Asia-Pacific trade deals as Trump win dashes TPP hopes – Reuters (Nov 10)

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-diplomacy-trade-idUSKBN1350S4?il=0

Alliance alive but trade deal dead: Trump to Turnbull – Australian Financial Review – By Phillip Coorey, Primrose Riordan (Nov 10)

Link: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/alliance-alive-but-trade-deal-dead-trump-to-turnbull-20161109-gslxjn

Trump’s view on trade could shift once in Oval Office, expert says – Buffalo News – By Matt Glynn (Nov 9)

I think once in office, Donald Trump will see the benefits of trade for the economy and for advancing U.S. interests around the world in a somewhat different light than he has as a candidate.”

Link: http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/09/trumps-free-trade-view-shift-expert-says/

A Trump policy adviser is already walking back tough talk on trade – Washington Post – By Ana Swanson (Nov 10)

“Trump’s policy advisers may already be walking back some of his more aggressive rhetoric surrounding trade.”

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/10/a-trump-policy-adviser-is-already-walking-back-tough-talk-on-trade/ 

Straight Talk on Trade – Project Syndicate – By Dani Rodrik (Nov 15)

“[H]ad economists gone public with the caveats, uncertainties, and skepticism of the seminar room, they might have become better defenders of the world economy”

Link: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-win-economists-responsible-by-dani-rodrik-2016-11

TPP bill signed by Parliament as US signals its end – Radio New Zealand (Nov 15)

Link: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/318141/tpp-bill-signed-by-parliament-as-us-signals-its-end

Australia signals support for Chinese-led trade deals to replace TPP – The Guardian – By Katharine Murphy (Nov 17)

“With the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s future ‘looking grim’, Steve Ciobo says Coalition would back free trade zone”

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/17/australia-signals-support-for-chinese-led-trade-deals-to-replace-tpp

AG, AG TECHNOLOGY, PRODUCTION:

Donald Trump urged to champion US crop biotech innovation – Queensland Country Life (Australia) – By Colin Bettles (Nov 11)

Link: http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/4286411/donald-trump-urged-to-champion-us-crop-biotech-innovation/?cs=4698

Elimination of genetically modified crops would cause hike in greenhouse gas emissions – Knowridge Science Report (Nov 10)

Link: https://knowridge.com/2016/11/elimination-of-genetically-modified-crops-would-cause-hike-in-greenhouse-gas-emissions/

GMO seeds are sustaining Colorado’s sugar beet farms, but new labels could damage already shrinking industry – Denver Post – By Jennifer Brown (Nov 6)

“While Roundup-resistant seeds help beet farms thrive, federal labels could shrink share of sugar market”

Link: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/11/06/gmo-seeds-boost-colorado-beet-farms-but-labels-could-damage-industry/

Scientists apply for GM wheat trial in UK – BBC – By Pallab Ghosh (Nov 4)

“Researchers have applied for a licence to carry out a trial of a genetically modified wheat crop in a small field in Hertfordshire.”

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37871601

Scientists’ ‘Open Letter’ to NY Times’ Public Editor brightlines Danny Hakim’s ‘misleading’ GMO article – Genetic Literacy Project – By 

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/11/11/scientists-open-letter-ny-times-public-editor-brightlines-danny-hakims-misleading-gmo-article/

Survey Shows Two Thirds of Public Supports GM Crops – Crop Biotech Update (ISAAA) – Nov 9

Link: http://www.isaaa.org/kc/cropbiotechupdate/article/default.asp?ID=14919

Academy declares GMOs beneficial for consumption – The Guardian (Nigeria) – By Tayo Oredola (Nov 17)

“[Nigerian Academy of Science], during a media roundtable on GMOs in Nigeria at its office in Lagos, said the country was ready for the products and that they were safe for both production and beneficial to the nation based on carefully-documented evidence”

Link: http://guardian.ng/news/academy-declares-gmos-beneficial-for-consumption/

GMO, Conventional, Organic: Why There’s More Similarity Than You Think – Forbes.com – By Neva Cochran, MS, RDN, LD (Nov 15)

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gmoanswers/2016/11/15/gmo-conventional-organic/#75a78e0f3457

 

And, under the moniker of self-righteous sounding arguments, take a look at the following two items.  It really does boil down to just “market protection”…

What’s Organic? A Debate Over Dirt May Boil Down to Turf – New York Times – By Stephanie Strom (Nov 15)

“…so what this really is about is market protection.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/business/organic-certification-hydroponic-aquaponic-produce.html

NOSB debates organic status of carrageenan, tocopherols, marine algae, hydroponics – Nutraingredients USA – By Elizabeth Crawford (Nov 16)

“Organic industry stakeholders from across the nation are gathered in St. Louis today for what promises to be a highly contentious three-day meeting during which the National Organic Standards Board will debate the role of hydroponic production, carrageenan, tocopherols and marine algae in organic production and products, as well as other hot button issues.”

Link: http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Suppliers2/NOSB-debates-carrageenan-tocopherols-algae-hydroponics

POLICY, REGULATION, ACTIVISM:

HSUS “Decides to be Political Operation, Aggressive Push for Veganism” – AgWeb, Farm Journal Broadcast – By Ashley Davenport (Nov 9)

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/hsus-decides-to-be-political-operation-aggressive-push-for-veganism-naa-ashley-davenport/

Massachusetts Voters Ban Gestation Crates, Battery Cages – AgWeb/MILK – By Anna-Lisa Laca (Nov 9)

“Animal rights activists gained a foothold in Massachusetts during Tuesday’s election.”

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/-massachusetts-voters-ban-gestation-crates-battery-cages-naa-anna-lisa-laca/

Sonoma County voters ban genetically modified crops – San Franciso Chronicle – By Filipa A. Ioannou (Nov 9)

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sonoma-County-voters-approve-GMO-ban-10605255.php

Florida Votes to Release Millions of Zika-Fighting Mosquitos – WIRED – By Marley Walker (Nov 10)

Link: https://www.wired.com/2016/11/florida-votes-release-millions-zika-fighting-mosquitos/

New Dicamba Formulation Approved for Over-the-Top Use – AgWeb – By Sonja Begemann (Nov 9)

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/new-dicamba-formulation-approved-for-over-the-top-use-naa-sonja-begemann/

Feed industry: US biotech policy review needs to focus on international trade – Feed Navigator – By Aerin Einstein-Curtis (Nov 11)

“US feed organizations and grower groups are calling for additional efforts to improve international regulatory communication and approval processes in an ongoing review of national biotechnology regulation.”

Chickens are people and other lies I learned reading the Huffington Post – Farm Progress – By Mindy Ward (Nov 3)

Link: http://farmprogress.com/blogs-chickens-are-people-lies-i-learned-reading-huffington-post-11512

Budge the Barge – AgWeb – By Chip Flory (Nov 9)

“Grain farmers seek waterway upgrades, but progress remains slim”

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/budge-the-barge-naa-chip-flory/

Boulder County committee resumes review of GMO phase-out – Longmont Times-Call (Colorado) – By John Fryar (Nov 13)

Link: http://www.timescall.com/longmont-local-news/ci_30563916/boulder-county-committee-resumes-review-gmo-phase-out

Food scientists must stand up and be counted – Food Manufacture UK – By Rick Pendrous (Nov 4)

“Scientists – including those in food science and nutrition – need to start explaining to politicians and the public generally some potentially uncomfortable truths, or risk being shackled with policies that are not evidence-based, a leading scientist has warned.”

Biotechnology Coordinated Framework update seen falling short in key areas – Food Business News – By Josh Sosland (Nov 14)

Link: http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Regulatory_News/2016/11/Biotechnology_Coordinated_Fram.aspx?ID=%7BFF81F1C9-9EEE-4303-89BC-7EDC5605F28A%7D

NFU reviews neonics emergency application – Farmers Weekly (UK) – By Philip Case (Nov 16)

“The NGOs and ministers were doubting the need for neonics but this autumn quite clearly showed there was one”

Link: http://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/nfu-reviews-neonics-emergency-application.htm

Cause for concern over claims of “dangerous” glyphosate in wine, breast milk, cereal, etc.? – Genetic Literacy Project – By  

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/11/17/cause-concern-claims-dangerous-glyphosate-wine-breast-milk-cereal-etc/