News items related to ag tech, biotech, trade – and perhaps some other interesting topics out there related to agriculture – will be posted on this page throughout the week (as the week progresses newest items will be in green at bottom of sections). Check the page during the week for updates.

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As this week’s title suggests, it’s a wild ride out there on trade issues and news.  The initial list of stories below is only a short sample of what’s out there at the moment covering all the continents and virtually every part of planet.  It seems as though everyone is talking to someone.

It poses the question to think about, whether President Trump’s Administration has thrown a wrench into the gears of world trade that has slowed things down, or perhaps ultimately kick-started a renewed interest in the importance of international trade, markets and access.  It seems a number of different arguments can be made, and time will tell.

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TRADE, TRADE RELATED, INFRASTRUCTURE:

US tightens pressure on Japan for bilateral trade deal – Nikkei Asian Review – By Takeshi Kawanami (Apr 16)

“Trump eager to appease American farmers ahead of midterm elections” – Link

Trump suggests return to TPP as farmers fear trade war with China – Nikkei Asian Review – By Ariana King and Ken Moriya Su (Apr 13)

“Trade pact would offer alternative markets in Japan and Asia-Pacific” – Link

Australian farm exports to lose advantages if US re-joins TPP – FarmOnline – By Colin Bettles (Apr 16)

“Like anything, there are pros and cons – we’ve got to work our way through it – but let’s just see what the Americans do.” – Link

TRUMP’S TRADE WAR WITH CHINA IS JUST HIS OPENING GAMBIT – South China Morning Post – Opinion by Wang Xiangwei (Apr 14)

“With Sinophobic elements in the White House seemingly intent on containing China’s economic rise, the next moves to throw Beijing off balance are likely to involve Taiwan and the South China Sea” – Link

Vice-President Pence says NAFTA deal possible in several weeks – CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (Apr 14)

‘We think we are close, we are encouraged at the progress of our negotiations,’ Pence says” – Link

Brussels mulls offer of trade deal to Trump, if he drops tariff threat – Politico Europe Edition – By Hans Von der Burchard (Apr 15)

“The aim is to use the prospect of a trade deal as a bargaining chip to exclude the EU from punitive tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum…” – Link

Mexico Pushes to Finish Trade Deal With EU This Month – Bloomberg – By Eric Martin (Apr 12) – Link

In Paris, Trudeau Defends Benefits of EU-Canada Trade Deal – US News & World Report (Apr 16)

“Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron said they discussed a renewed economic partnership to boost growth, jobs and investments in their two countries.” – Link

Japan and China pledge to accelerate free trade talks – Nikkei Asian Review – By Saki Haya Shi (Apr 16)

“Both agree to work more closely at first high-level economic meeting in eight years” – Link

Free Trade Gets a Boost in Africa – Marketplace — by Andy Uhler (Apr 13)

“Developing economies tend to benefit even more from free trade agreements than the developed world…” – Link

China fans trade dispute with hefty deposit on U.S. sorghum imports – Reuters – By Dominque Patton (Apr 17)

“Today’s decision in China reflects a broader trade fight in which U.S. sorghum farmers are the victim, not the cause…” – Link

Beijing Forges Ahead With ‘Made In China’ Policy, Targeted By Proposed U.S. Tariffs – NPR – By Anthony Kuhn (Apr 17)

“The Trump administration sees the policy as another effort to steal U.S. technology and push American firms out of the Chinese market.” – Link

Meet the Chinese farmers delighted by the prospect of a US trade war – South China Morning Post / AP (Apr 13) – Link

Rejoin the TPP – National Review – By The Editors (Apr 18)

“The simplest reason why is that it would boost the American economy… There are compelling diplomatic reasons to rejoin the agreement as well.” – Link

CGTN America (Apr 28)

“CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Marc Ross about what many believe is a looming U.S.-China trade war. Ross is the Co-Founder and a Partner with Caracal Global, an int’l communications and management company.” – Link

Mexican president says optimistic about reworking NAFTA trade deal – Reuters (Apr 22) – Link

EU, Mexico reach ‘agreement in principle’ on free trade deal – EURACTIV.com with AFP and Reuters (Apr 22)

“Under the updated terms of the 2000 deal, “practically all bilateral trade in goods will now be duty-free, including in the agricultural sector…” – Link

“Very good chance” of a U.S.-China trade deal: Trump – Reuters (Apr 24)

““China’s very serious, and we’re very serious,” Trump told reporters…” – Link

 


AG, AG TECH, RESEARCH, PRODUCTION, PROTECTION, RELATED ISSUES:

Ghana loses about US$64 million through armyworm infestation – Ghana News Agency – By Stephen Asante (Apr 12)

“…studies had shown that genetically-modified maize with in-built disease-resistent genes had the potential to withstand the harmful effects of the pests.” – Link

One million smallholder farmers to get discounted seeds, cropping technology – NIRSAL – Premium Times (Nigeria) (Apr 12)

“…would grant farmers including women and youth, access to quality discounted inputs, modern technology, and training on best use of farm inputs to achieve high yields.” – Link

Shipping container farms bring food source closer to city dwellers – ABC News (Australia) – By Jessica Schremmer (Apr 16)

“We yet have to see if it all works but for us it’s about getting the consistency.” – Link

Study shows why gluten-free is preferred by some consumers – The Land (Australia) (Apr 15)

“The results suggest that non-coeliac gluten avoiders don’t just steer away from gluten but also avoid other food types, such as dairy or eggs…” – Link

Scientists Want to Replace Pesticides With Bacteria – Bloomberg Businessweek – By Elizabeth G Dunn (Apr 16)

“… dozen or so agricultural technology startups trying to take advantage…” – Link

A Grass-Roots Movement For Healthy Soil Spreads Among Farmers – NPR – By Dan Charles (Apr 9) – Link

 


POLICY, REGULATORY, ACTIVISM, OTHER:

Is This Tomato Engineered? Inside the Coming Battle Over Gene-Edited Food – Wall Street Journal – By Jacob Bunge and Amy Dockser Marcus (Apr 15)

“The agriculture industry, which hopes Crispr technology will transform the business, faces opponents who call it ‘GMO 2.0’” – Link (subscription-based)

DIRTY DOZEN LIST PUTS UNNECESSARY FEAR IN CONSUMERS OVER HEALTHY FOODS, FOOD SCIENTIST WARNS – Newsweek – By Dana Dovey (Apr 10) – Link

The Inconvenient Truth About The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen List – Forbes.com – By Steven Savage (Apr 11)

What that data actually demonstrates is the outstanding safety profile of the U.S. food supply, but EWG twists it – Link

‘WELL FED’ DOCUMENTARY WIPES AWAY FEAR OF GMOS – Crop Biotech Update, ISAAA (Apr 11)

“Two friends from Amsterdam, Netherlands with opposing views on genetically modified organisms(GMOs) investigated the truth behind biotechnology…” – Link

Without its GM cotton patents, Monsanto may stop doing business in India – Business Insider – By Dilsher Dhillon (Apr 12)

“An arm of India’s agriculture ministry will now determine the royalty rate for Monsanto’s seeds- a move that could scare off other foreign companies.” – Link

Indian, MNC seed firms form new association – The Times of India / PTI (Apr 16)

“Global and domestic seed companies…formed a new association ‘Alliance for Agri Innovation’ to take up the policy issues related to the sector and promote new farm technologies.” – Link

Would the Green Revolution have survived fearmongering social media? – Farm Press – By John Hart (Apr 17)

“People have never been better fed or better clothed than they are today. It’s easy to take to Twitter and Facebook with a full belly.” – Link

France bans use of meaty names for veggie food – Food Navigator – By Katy Askew (Apr 23)

“France looks set to prohibit meat terms from being used to describe plant-based foods, with MPs backing a proposal to ban producers of meat substitutes from using phrases like “steak” or “sausage” to describe meat-free products.” – Link

Are G.M.O. Foods Safe? – The New York Times – Personal Health, by Jane E. Brody (Apr 23)

“It’s human nature, it seems, to resist change and fear the unknown. So it is no surprise that genetic engineering of food and feed crops resulted in their resounding condemnation as “Frankenfoods” by many consumers, who seem as terrified of eating an apple with an added anti-browning gene or a pink pineapple genetically enriched with the antioxidant lycopene as I am of self-driving cars.” – Link