It has certainly been a whirlwind year or so in terms of the trade situation for the U.S. Ag sector. We are over a year into a trade war with China, we negotiated a trade deal with Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA. However, a year later and we still have no official deals.
Let’s start first with China. We were very close to a deal, and then suddenly there was nothing. China said the U.S. was asking for too many concessions and the U.S. has claimed the Chinese have reneged on all the progress which was made. Either way, the talks had ground to a screeching halt.
Originally, we were hoping to see a deal finalized at this month’s G20 summit in Japan. Now, it is going to be a successful trip if Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping simply speak with each other. President Trump said on Wednesday he is confident he will meet with President Xi, and this is an important step to getting trade talks back on course.
About Mexico, President Trump says it is up to Mexico to make good on their commitment to helping the United States combat the waves of illegal migrants coming to our border.
The President had threatened to level another five percent tariff on Mexico because of border security. This was seen as another destabilizing move, affecting the chances of the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement. (USMCA).
While the terms of the agreement with Mexico were not disclosed, a Washington Post report was able to grab a screen capture of the terms in the President’s hands. The deal looked to have a 45-day deadline for Mexico to make major steps in curtailing illegal migrant activity.
Right now, we are very close to getting trade deals done. However, as my grandfather used to say, “close only counts in horseshoes.”