USDA, DOT Call on Ocean Shippers to Help Disruption in Shipping

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are calling on major ocean carriers to help ease disruption to agricultural exports. Shipping carriers make fewer containers available, change return dates, and charge unfair fees.

Cabinet members sent a letter to the world’s major shipping carriers calling for full service at west coast ports. They also indicated that if the issue was not resolved quickly, the Federal Maritime Commission could take action.

Buttigieg and Vilsack said in the letter: “This unprecedented disruption in the flow of goods around the world has forced government and industry to pull all the levers and maximize the use of our existing infrastructure while working simultaneously to ensure that our supply chain is more resilient in the future. disturbances.

“In the spirit of making full use of our current infrastructure, we are writing to stress the critical nature of service to underutilized West Coast ports to ensure that US agricultural exports can be freely transported overseas.

“It is also essential that we restore the reciprocal treatment of imports and exports that is inherent in trade. rushed to be exported empty. This imbalance is not sustainable and contributes to the blocking of empty containers which clog ports. Poor service and refusal to serve customers when empty containers are clearly available is unacceptable and, if not resolved quickly, may require further consideration and action by the Federal Maritime Commission.

The House passed the “Maritime Navigation Reform Act 2021” earlier this month, which received support from a large number of agricultural organizations.

Taiwan rejects American pork referendum
A referendum in Taiwan to reinstate a ban on imports of American pork was rejected last Saturday. Polls before the vote indicated that it would pass.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen lifted the ban in January when Taiwan began recognizing maximum residue limits (MRLs) for ractopamine. President Tsai Ing-wen and the ruling Progressive Democratic Party in Taiwan called for a no to the referendum. The main opposition party, the Chinese Nationalist Party or KMT, has called for the reinstatement of the ban on the use of ractopamine.

The American Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said the referendum result would have “little impact on American pork entering Taiwan, as importers and processors continued to demand ractopamine-free products even after adoption. of MRLs “. The USMEF is now hoping the election is over, the issue will gain less media attention, and the business climate will improve for American pork.

Tsai would like to conclude a free trade agreement with the United States and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Manchin says no to Build Back Better
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said last Sunday on Fox News Sunday that he could not vote for the $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better package, a priority for President Joe Biden. Manchin cited rising consumer prices, rising national debt and the new Omicron variant as reasons he couldn’t vote for the package.

He said in a statement after the interview: “My concerns have only increased as the pandemic intensifies, inflation increases and geopolitical uncertainty increases around the world.

“I cannot take this risk with massive debt over $ 29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and damaging to every American who works hard at gas pumps, grocery stores and utility bills. audiences with no end in sight. “

An immediate impact of the bill’s failure will be the expiration of the 2021 child tax credit. This had given eligible families up to $ 300 per month for each child under age 6 and up. $ 250 per month for each child aged 6 to 17.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the Senate will vote on the Build Back Better bill in January to have every member registered.

In order to pass the bill, the administration needs all 50 Democratic senators to vote for the bill.

Falling sales of antibiotics for livestock
The sale of antibiotics to cattle in the United States is down 3% from 2019 and 38% from the record year of 2015, according to the latest report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA said, “This suggests that continued efforts to support the judicious use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals are having an impact.”

Each year, the FDA publishes a summary report on antimicrobials sold or distributed to food-producing animals.

Net farm income will increase in 2021
The USDA projects net farm income for 2021 at $ 116.8 billion, the highest level since 2013. Net farm income is a broad measure of profits.

Net cash farm income is expected to reach $ 133 billion in 2021, the highest level since 2014. Net cash farm income is cash receipts from agriculture as well as income from agriculture (including payments). government) less cash expenses.

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