Fried on Unfair Foreign Trade and USTR Ag Trade Negotiator
**Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried wrote Ag Secretary Tom
Vilsack, calling for federal action to address the continued unfair foreign trade practices employed by Mexico and others, causing severe harm to the domestic seasonal produce industry.
Commissioner Fried shared a recent report released by the Florida Department of Agriculture that showed an economic impact of nearly $4 billion due to the expansion of Mexican imports, causing between 10-20% in annual lost sales of Florida seasonal producers.
**A CoBank report shows animal agriculture needs trade negotiators at the table to build export markets.
The report says the recent nomination of a chief ag negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is an important step forward, but Elaine Trevino has yet to be confirmed.
U.S. animal protein exports have nearly tripled in the past two decades.
Today, trade accounts for 10-30 percent of U.S. animal protein production.
**The USDA announced $20 million in pandemic assistance to cover certification and education expenses to certified organic producers or those transitioning to organic.
Certified and transitional operations may apply for funding for eligible expenses paid during the 2020, ‘21 and ‘22 fiscal years.
For each year, the program covers 25% of a certified operation’s eligible certification expenses, up to $250.
Crop and livestock operations may be eligible for 75% of eligible certification and transitional expenses, up to $750.