US Senators come together for tougher dairy trade terms

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:03 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - A bipartisan group of 61 U.S. Senators want our Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to get tougher in trade negotiations when it comes to dairy terms. That's because the European Union is negotiating deals with countries that won't allow products from countries outside the EU, like the United States, from using terms that are accepted as common names when referring to some foods. That means some countries won't take our products if we call them bologna, parmesan, feta, mozzarella and other such names that the Europeans lay claim to. Those senators say we are even losing sales to Mexico and Canada under our new trade agreement because the language in that deal isn't strong enough.

Lighthizer will get a chance to talk trade this week when he meets with England's International Trade Secretary. The British are upset over what they are calling "punitive" tariffs on some of their products coming into the U.S. The English want to finish a new U.S.-England trade deal soon but Lighthizer says it won't happen before the end of the year at the earliest.

Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat processors in the U.S.with over 140 plants across the country reported this week that the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt their earnings but they're still in pretty good shape. The company reported net income for the third quarter was down almost $150 million to 527 million but 340 million of those dollars were costs to deal with the virus. The company also paid another $114 million to workers as a bonus for health care and plant downtime. Health records show more than 10,000 Tyson workers have been hit by Covid-19.

Countryside Cooperative of Durand, which plans to merge with Landmark Services Cooperative of Cottage Grove, has announced the next step in that process-setting up meetings to explain the plan to its members. Those meetings will be next week at 3 locations. The first meeting will be at the 4 Corners Agronomy Center near New Richmond starting at 10am. The second meeting will be on August 11th at 10am at the King’s Valley Agronomy Center near Osseo with the third meeting also on August 11th at the Durand Agronomy Center starting at 2 pm. Any member that wants to go has to call the co-op and make reservations. And because of Covid-19 limiting the size of groups, only 2 people for each membership will be allowed at a meeting.

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