FARGO, N.D. – In March, the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) sent letters to the honorable U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to encourage fair market access of U.S. Dry Beans to Europe and the United Kingdom.
- Removal of EU/UK tariffs – U.S. dry bean imports to the EU and UK continue to face 25 percent retaliatory tariffs as a result of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. While the respective governments have agreed to suspend tariffs in the Airbus/Boeing dispute, the steel and aluminum tariffs and retaliatory response predates this and has not been resolved. USDBC has already sent letters to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and will be reaching out to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to ask for the suspension of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. dry bean imports.
- Dominican Republic (DR) Adherence to Duty-Free, Quota-Free Imports – Since the full implementation of the CAFTA/DR trade agreement last year, U.S. dry beans imports can enter the Dominican republic duty-free with no limit to tonnage. While this should be beneficial to both sides, it has instead resulted in market protection mechanisms by the DR to limit the amount of U.S dry beans entering the country, especially during peak local harvest. This is in direct violation of the trade agreement. USDBC has been in long-standing talks with USDA/FAS Santo Domingo and will be meeting with USTR officials this week.
- Low or Zero-tolerance MRLs – USDBC remains concerned about the continued proliferation of low or zero MRLs/tolerances for pesticides/herbicides. Many of the most important export markets continue to veer away from Codex and impose unrealistic tolerances levels that will result in a disruption of trade. USDBC is particularly concerned about the EU and Mexico. An RFP to bring on a technical specialist to assist has been issued in a new initiative to help address this ongoing area of concern worldwide.
Even though all of the 2020 U.S. General Election results are still unknown, there are some things that are certain for agriculture. David Widmar of Agricultural Economic Insights and Randy Russell of The Russell Group have more in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network.
Members of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association and the North Central Bean Dealers were recently in Washington, D.C.
While there, they discussed the farm bill, agriculture trade and policy implications with Congressional delegates from Minnesota and North Dakota. Members also connected with USDA regarding bean procurement in the Food Aid Program.
Northarvest Bean Grower – Our Mission:
NHBGA, growers representing growers through the check-off system, is North America’s largest supplier of quality dry beans. Working together to better the industry through promotion, research, market development, education of consumers and monitoring of governmental policy. Our future goals must be continued market exposure and careful monitoring of new ideas, consumer choices, and producer needs.
50072 E. Lake Seven Road, Frazee, MN 56544