Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - May 16

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- A closer look at President Trump’s plan to buy $15 billion worth of American farm commodities and donate them to needy people around the world shows that may not be possible. The plan is to help U.S. farmers hurt by the tariffs but our laws say that any country receiving the products must be able to store them properly so they don’t rot and that by offering the products we don’t undermine local farmers in those countries. Observers also say by giving away the products we are creating an export subsidy which would be unfair to other exporting countries in violation of World Trade Organization rules.

U.S. officials have gotten a closer look at the lists of products China plans to hit with $60 billion in tariffs as of June 1st unless the U.S. gets a trade deal done with them by then. One list includes about 2,500 products, including farm commodities that would be hit with 25% tariffs while another list of over a thousand products would be hit with 20% tariffs. A third list covers just under a thousand items and those would face 10% tariffs wile a shorter list would face 5% tariffs.

The National Milk Producers’ Federation thinks it would be ok for the Trump Administration to slap tariffs on European Union dairy exports to the United States. That would be in response to the EU’s illegal subsidies to Europe’s Airbus industry. Currently we have over a one and a half billion dollar deficit in dairy trade with Europe because of their use of geographical indicators to keep our cheeses and other dairy products out of their countries. The EU says we are violating their products because we use names like Feta and Mozzarella for cheeses we produce here, even though they are produced under strict international guidelines called the Codex Standards. National Milk leaders didn’t say how much of a tariff they would like to see put on European dairy products.

Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association has new board leadership following this spring’s district meetings. Les Danielson of Cadott is the new chairman of the Equity Board after serving as a director for District 6 for many years. Equity operates 14 sale barns in the upper Midwest including barns in Altoona, Barron, Sparta and Stratford in this area.