Brazil’s Implementation of Tariff Rate Quota for Wheat a Win for American Farmers

Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019 - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcome Brazil's implementation of an annual duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 750,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat imports. For many years, Brazil failed to implement its obligation under the WTO to establish a TRQ for wheat. Brazil's implementation of this TRQ fulfills a commitment made to President Trump by President Bolsonaro earlier this year and reflects a desire to deepen trade and economic ties between both countries. "This solution to a long-standing problem is a result of the Administration's advocacy for American farmers and will allow our wheat exporters to compete on a level playing field," said Ambassador Lighthizer. "We look forward to increased exports of American wheat to Brazil."

USDA Announces its Intent to Ensure Adequate Sugar Supply

(Washington, D.C., November 15, 2019) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market. In recent weeks, prospects for U.S. sugar production have declined significantly due to adverse weather in both sugar beet and sugarcane regions. In the November 2019 World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates Report, the U.S. sugar production projection declined by 572,000 short tons raw value from the previous month, while ongoing weather concerns threaten further reductions. With a 10.5 percent ending stocks-to-use ratio forecast for FY20, USDA will be addressing options in the near future in order to stabilize U.S. sugar supplies. USDA intends to make an announcement between November 18 and December 10 as to quantity, type and source of additional sugar needed to ensure an adequate supply for the domestic market, avoid forfeitures and prevent or correct market disruptions.

USDA Invests $41.6 Million in Rural Broadband for Missouri and Southern Iowa Families

BETHANY, Mo., Nov. 15, 2019 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce today announced USDA has invested $41.6 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for rural households and farms in Missouri and Southern Iowa. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA's Reconnect Pilot Program investments. "In Missouri and across the country, technology and innovation are vital to agricultural production," Fordyce said. "Our commitment to invest in rural America cannot be achieved without addressing the digital divide our rural communities face because of a lack of high-speed broadband Internet."

USDA Issues Second Tranche of Market Facilitation Program

(Washington, D.C., November 15, 2019) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. The payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25 percent of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50 percent they have already received from the 2019 MFP. "This second tranche of 2019 MFP payments, along with already provided disaster assistance, will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving," said Secretary Perdue. "President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America's farmers and ranchers.

American Poultry Farmers Regain Access to China

U.S. poultry exports expected to top $1 billion annually

(Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019) - United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement on China's decision to lift its ban on poultry imports from the United States:
"The United States welcomes China's decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America's farmers and China's consumers," said Ambassador Lighthizer. "China is an important export market for America's poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry." Secretary Perdue said, "After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China's market to their products.

USDA Invests $1.4 Billion in Rural Electric Infrastructure Improvements in 21 States

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2019 - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.4 billion in projects in 21 states (PDF, 143 KB) to build and improve rural electric infrastructure. "Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936," Secretary Perdue said. "This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump's commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives."

USDA and DOE Join Forces to Increase Energy Technology Development and Deployment in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2019 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Donald "DJ" LaVoy and U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two departments to promote rural energy and the development of technologies that will support and advance rural and agricultural communities and domestic manufacturing. The signed MOU (PDF, 2.5 MB), which was required under section 6501 of the 2018 Farm Bill, will enhance collaboration and coordination between the Department of Energy (DOE) and USDA. The areas covered by the MOU include facilitating energy-related investments in America's rural communities; streamlining, leveraging and optimizing program resources; encouraging innovation; offering technical assistance to rural communities; strengthening energy-related infrastructure; ensuring affordable and reliable power; and helping rural businesses export energy products and manufactured goods around the world. "Energy creates jobs, supports local infrastructure expansion and provides new opportunities to increase economic development in rural communities," LaVoy said.

USDA Invests in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in 31 States

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2019 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald "DJ" LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $201 million to improve rural water infrastructure in 31 states (PDF, 250 KB). "Modern, reliable and accessible infrastructure is critical to economic development and quality of life," LaVoy said. "Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities to help them improve their infrastructure, because when rural America thrives, all of America thrives." USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program.

Secretary Perdue Statement on Japan Agreement

(Washington, D.C. August 25, 2019) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement regarding the new trade agreement between the United States and Japan:

"Japan is a significant market for United States agriculture exports, making today a good day for American agriculture. By removing existing barriers for our products, we will be able to sell more to the Japanese markets. At the same time we will be able to close gaps to better allow us to compete on a level playing field with our competitors. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their constant support of America's farmers and ranchers and their hard work negotiating better trade deals around the globe."

USDA Details Trade Damage Estimate Calculations

(Washington, D.C., August 23, 2019) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Chief Economist has published a detailed accounting of how estimated damage from trade disruptions was calculated for its support package for farmers announced on July 25, 2019. USDA's Office of the Chief Economist developed an estimate of gross trade damages for commodities with assessed retaliatory tariffs by China, India, the European Union, and Turkey to set commodity payment rates and purchase levels. USDA employed the same approach often used in adjudicating World Trade Organization trade dispute cases. "Just as we did before, we want to be transparent about this process and how our economists arrived at the numbers they did. Our farmers and ranchers work hard to feed the United States and the world, and they need to know USDA was thorough, methodical, and as accurate as possible in making these estimates.We listened to feedback from farmers on last year's programs and incorporated many of those suggestions into today's programs. While no formula can be perfect in addressing concerns from all commodities, we did everything we could to accommodate everyone," Secretary Perdue said.