Since deals with China, Japan and USMCA have been addressed, American Ag has turned its attention to the UK and EU for next-step trade deals. The American Farm Bureau Federation said London and Brussels have already had words on the EU’s rules demands for the UK to formalize Brexit by the end of this year, possibly delaying a final UK-EU deal for months or longer. AFBF trade adviser Dave Salmonsen said that will not stop the trade-anxious UK from at least negotiating with the U.S.
“UK wants to do a trade deal with the US as they leave the UK. We know, of course, they have to do the EU first, before they can sign anything with the US. But they could still negotiate. And, of course, there’s lots of issues with the EU…of course, the president has focused on that, a lot—especially on his recent trip over to Davos, for the World Economic Forum.”
But even before a UK or any EU deal with the U.S., Salmonsen said it’s important for farmers to step back and celebrate.
“We saw the deal with Japan get done; we’ve seen the USMCA not only get concluded but now pass Congress; course, further on, movement by Canada. We’ve seen this China deal that was so long in coming, get done, and of course, that goes into force mid-February,” Salmonsen added, “And we’ll watch that closely, how that’s implemented, and how China lives up to its commitment to make purchases.”
China announced it will implement commitments to cut tariffs on a range of U.S. products, including soybeans, starting Friday. Analysts see the move, though part of the Phase 1 deal, as a confidence-booster amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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