Farmers stress fertilizer, Mexican corn concerns with Biden cabinet members

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Tai noted that anti-dumping and countervailing duties fall within the purview of the Commerce Department, “but I think it’s reasonable for us to examine the health and functioning of the market here at the national level in light of the changes that are taking place. are produced in the international market context and how healthy the competition is here,” Tai said.

As DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends reports this week, DAP and MAP prices are down from their spring highs, but both products are still 26% to 30% higher than a year ago. (See https://www.dtnpf.com/…)

Vilsack said the USDA will put in place support this fall to help advance some new fertilizer plants and mining operations, either under construction or in the process of licensing, which will help alleviate some of these. pressure on imported fertilizers.

BIOTECHNOLOGY POLICIES OF MEXICO

Bob Haus, representing Corteva, which employs about 3,000 people in central Iowa, raised the issue with officials about Mexico’s delays or refusals to approve 14 biotech crop traits involving corn, soybeans and the cotton.

“As our customers will attest, this will affect their future decisions about what to plant,” Haus said.

Lillibridge also noted that Mexico is the top US market for corn and distillers’ dried grain exports. Lillibridge expressed concern about Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador’s statements and decrees on biotech crops.

“With these executive orders, farmers are very, very concerned about what’s going to happen,” Lillibridge said.

Vilsack said he spoke to Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary Victor Villalobos several times about biotech corn. “I’ve spoken to him so many times we don’t know how many times,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack also spoke with Obrador on the matter, noting that any disruption in the flow of U.S. corn to Mexico would drive up food prices for Mexican consumers. Vilsack referred to the Mexican president’s populist policies that highlight his support for small farmers. Obrador sees the problems of white corn versus yellow corn differently. “It’s partly his legacy,” Vilsack said. “For him, it’s white corn because (Mexico) is where white corn was first developed.”

Regarding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Tai said the agreement has strong enforcement mechanisms. “There’s a very difficult dynamic that we have on biotech and corn trade with Mexico,” Tai said, noting Vilsack’s comments. “On these very important issues within the USMCA, the USDA and the USTR are working hand in hand.”

Vilsack pointed out that Tai has already shown a willingness to use USMCA rules to resolve disputes, as the USTR has done over dairy markets with Canada.

“So I think that’s a strong point that I continually tell my colleagues and friends in Mexico is that the US Trade Representative’s office is not afraid to use these processes.”

IMPORTANT TRADE NEGOTIATIONS

Steve Noah, president of Farmers for Free Trade, credited the Biden administration with creating the Indo-Pacific economic framework for prosperity, but Noah stressed that it was not a specific trade deal that would open new markets and reduce tariffs.

“Our competitors have made business deals left and right,” Noah said.

Noting the problems the United States had with China during the trade war, Brian Kemp, representing the United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC), also called for the development of new markets. He pointed out that since the 2018 trade war, USSEC has worked to expand markets elsewhere, and now Egypt has become one of the top 4 markets for US soybeans.

Vilsack went on to stress that increased market access remained a priority, but he also added that the United States was also heading for another year of record agricultural exports.

JOHN DEERE PRODUCTION MOVE

Tai also referred to an earlier announcement from John Deere that the farm machinery maker will move some production from two Iowa facilities to Mexico. Tai said agriculture has done better in the commercial economy than manufacturing, but the Chips and Science Act enacted last month will help as it will increase investment in domestic manufacturing of technologies such as semis. -drivers.

“All those machines behind me don’t run without chips,” Tai said, sitting in front of two Deere tractors.

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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