Posts

Trade Mission Reveals Future Opportunities with Turkey

Trade dynamics with Turkey can be challenging and influenced by numerous variables. The U.S. Dry Bean Council is optimistic about reports from a trade delegation that returned from Turkey last week, confirming that contacts remain strong, as does interest in purchasing U.S. dry beans. Turkey’s own domestic dry bean production has been declining over the past decade, while consumption remains strong. A stronger currency means that Turkish buyers are now in a good position to purchase high quality U.S. dry beans this year and beyond. This is traditionally a market for white beans and garbanzos. Read more.

CAFTA/DR Trade Agreement Nearing Full Implementation in 2020

For many years, the Dominican Republic has been one of the top export destinations for United States dry bean exports in the Americas. It is the top export market in the region (minus Mexico) for the period September – July 2019 at 26,000 metric tons. This is down slightly from the same period in 2018, which was recorded at 32,000 metric tons.
 
One of the reasons for this market success is the CAFTA/DR free trade agreement that went into effect in 2005. The agreement includes a tariff rate quota system that gives the U.S. the advantage of duty free market access for a specific quantity of exports every year until full implementation. Once the duty free quota is filled, preferential duties are offered on a sliding scale for up to 36,000 metric tons of U.S. origin dry beans. Read more.

New Site Sought for U.S.-China Trade Deal Meeting

According to a tweet from President Donald Trump, the U.S. and China are trying to secure a new location to sign a tentative trade deal. President Trump and Chinese President Xi were expected to meet during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Chile, but that event was canceled due to ongoing protests. Trump said phase one is about 60 percent of the total trade agreement.

USMCA Approval is Possible by Thanksgiving

According to a CNBC interview, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow thinks there could be bipartisan backing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in the United States by Thanksgiving. “Political differences exist. I get that, but they can still come together on something,” said Kudlow. “There’s almost a consensus view that USMCA is a good thing for America now and in the future. I remain optimistic. I’ve spoken to leaders in the House and Senate that say maybe we can get something by Thanksgiving.”

Tariffs Leave the Kidney Bean Crop in Limbo

By Dan Gunderson, MPR News

Kidney beans are just one of several varieties of beans classified as dry edible beans. “When you take the North Dakota, Minnesota and southern Manitoba growing region, half of the North American dry bean crop is produced in that area,” says John Bartsch, a trader with Kelley Bean Company, who also grows beans on an eastern North Dakota farm. “And so if they have a good crop or a poor crop, it has an outsized impact on price.”

About 60 percent of kidney beans harvested are used in the United States and the rest are exported. “Domestically, they’re going down to Faribault, Minnesota for canning there and for foreign export. Most of them go to the E.U. or Central America,” says Perham, Minnesota farmer Mark Dombeck.

Lately, trade disputes have played a larger role in the direction of the industry. “Right now, our competition for exports is Canada and Argentina,” says Dombeck. “They don’t have a tariff, so we’re at a disadvantage,” The European Union has been a steady kidney bean customer for years, he adds. But last year, trade disputes disrupted the relationship when the E.U. put a retaliatory tariff on the beans after the U.S. had placed tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Read more and listen to the story.

U.S. and Japan Roll Out a Trade Agreement

During the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the first stage of the new trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan. This agreement levels the playing field in terms of market access for certain agriculture and industrial goods, as well as on digital trade. In the next two weeks, the two countries will work out more details. The first stage of the agreement is expected to be finalized by January 2020.

U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Fact Sheet

 

Rallying Support for USMCA Ratification

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with former agriculture secretaries, held a press conference on Thursday to rally support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. There is a window of opportunity for Congress to ratify the agreement between now and the end of the year. One concern from House Democrats is labor provisions. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there are enforceability consequences in the USMCA to ensure labor concerns are addressed. Read more.
 
The U.S. Dry Bean Council, including the Northarvest Bean Grower Association, has also sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer asking for ratification of the USMCA. That letter can be read here.

Dry Bean Scene

Farm organizations and members of Congress gathered in Washington D.C. on Thursday for a rally supporting ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Hear more in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.

NDSU Study Looks at the Impact of EU Tariffs

A study from North Dakota State University, commissioned by the U.S. Dry Bean Council, concluded that retaliatory tariffs by the European Union have put U.S. farmers at a price disadvantage in international markets. This has resulted in reduced exports and potentially lost export markets in the future.
 
The study looked at the impact of tariffs on the three principal types of dry beans exported to the EU; dark red kidney, navy, and Great Northern beans. NDSU researchers concluded that tariff levels must reach an inflection point, or key level, before export amounts are negatively impacted.
 

Transparency for Trade Damage Calculations

USDA has outlined how the rates were made for the new round of Market Facilitation Program payments. There is a countywide rate, but that was based on the estimated trade-related damages for various commodities. For dry edible beans, the commodity rate was at $8.22 per hundredweight. Soybeans were $2.05 per bushel, corn was at 14 cents and wheat was at 41 cents. Hogs and dairy rates were also announced, with hogs at $11 per head and milk production at 20 cents per hundredweight.

View the Trade Methodology Report.