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Iowa soybean farmers are encouraged to join with other farmers, ranchers and ag businesses across the U.S. in telling Congress to support ag exports by passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

TELL CONGRESS TO SUPPORT AG EXPORTS TO CANADA AND MEXICO
President Trump recently negotiated a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.  Called the USMCA, this agreement modernizes NAFTA and allows U.S. agriculture to continue exporting nearly $40 billion in products each year to Canada and Mexico. It's critical that Congress take up and pass the USMCA.  

To help get this bill across the finish line, Farmers for Free Trade — a coalition of the nation's leading ag associations and businesses — has drafted a mass sign-on letter to Congress. You can join with other farmers, ranchers and ag businesses across the U.S. and add your name to this letter.

This is an "all hands on deck" moment - please add your name to the letter and help support food and ag exports to Canada and Mexico. Learn more at www.FarmersforFreeTrade.com.

MARKET FACILITATION PROGRAM SIGN-UP DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 6
Are you a farmer or rancher whose commodities have been directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets? The Market Facilitation Program was created for producers just like you.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced May 23, 2019 that USDA would again provide aid to assist farmers hurt by trade disruptions prompted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs on their products through MFP. President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments through MFP for 2019 to assist impacted producers, which is in line with the estimated impacts of the retaliatory tariffs on – and non-tariff barriers to exports of – U.S. agricultural goods.

USDA TO OPEN SIGNUP FOR CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM ON DECEMBER 9
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is opening signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on December 9, 2019. The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation endeavors and a critical tool to help producers better manage their operations while conserving natural resources,” Secretary Perdue said. “The program marks its 35-year anniversary in 2020, and we’re hoping to see one of our largest signups in many years.”

AMBASSADOR LIGHTHIZER LAUDS JAPAN’S APPROVAL OF THE U.S.-JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT AND THE U.S.-JAPAN DIGITAL TRADE AGREEMENT
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued the following statement today after Japan’s Diet approved the recently-signed U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement:

“I commend Japan’s quick action to approve these important trade agreements between our two nations, which are the world’s first and third largest economies.  We expect the President to sign the implementing proclamation for the United States next week.  The positive results the United States and Japan will gain from these agreements would not be possible without the strong leadership of President Trump and Prime Minister Abe.  Now, U.S. farmers and ranchers will have significantly improved access to Japan’s market, and America’s leadership in the growing digital economy will continue to flourish to the benefit of all our workers."

The United States is preparing for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement to go into effect on January 1, 2020.  As agreed by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, both Governments will begin consultations early next year in order to enter into further negotiations on a broader trade agreement.

Read more about how soybean farmers may benefit from this agreement and it's impact on future deals.

STUDY SHOWS WHERE AFRICAN SWINE FEVER IS MOST LIKELY TO ENTER THE U.S.
With African swine fever (ASF) now in more than 50 countries, the United States remains keenly focused on preventing it from entering the country. The latest efforts to keep it at bay includes a new study that looked at the possibility of ASF virus entering via infected pork smuggled in airline passenger luggage.

"We knew that the risk of ASF virus entering the U.S. is certainly a concern from people traveling or in feed-stuffs from infected countries," said Dave Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of science and technology at the Pork Checkoff. "This study specifically looked at the risks of ASF being introduced through infected pork in travelers' luggage."

The study, funded by the Pork Checkoff and the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), found that the risk of ASF entering the country is much higher (183.33%) than two years ago when the disease first spread into Western Europe and Asia. The study results also showed that five U.S. airports (see graphic), and especially two of them, pose the most risk for incoming travelers with ASF.

For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjames@iasoybeans.com. © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.

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