Montana Ag Network: Tuesday, December 3
#1 President Donald Trump Monday announced new tariffs on Brazil and Argentina, citing harm to U.S. farmers. Trump says the tariffs on steel from Brazil and Argentina are in response to the “devaluation of their currencies.” Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, President Trump stated, “Our steel companies will be very happy, and our farmers will be very happy.”
Brazil and Argentina are serving as alternative markets of soybeans for China, allowing China to avoid tariffs on U.S. agricultural products stemming from the tit-for-tat trade war between China and the United States.
The United States is the top soybean-producing country in the world, followed by Brazil, Argentina and China.
#2 Before the new year, Lawmakers may consider two farm labor bills. One bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) addresses the agricultural labor shortage by providing a pathway for ag workers to earn legal status, reforming the H-2A program, and establishing nationwide, mandatory E-Verify.
Another bill, introduced by Representative Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican, has different priorities.
“My bill deals with creating a reliable predictable steady flow of labor for producers, but also gives protections for the migrant and opportunity to come here and work,” Yoho said. “We don't deal with immigration. It is a guest worker program. Her bill gets into giving people amnesty and things like that and it becomes very partisan.