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Illustration of rubber stamp of U.S. tariffs on Mexico iStock/Getty Images Plus/wildpixel

Trump threatens Mexico with tariffs

Legislative Watch: More Mexican tariffs; Canada and Mexico proceed on USMCA; EPA approves E15; hold on for aid; planters still in the shed; five approved for Pork Board.

President Trump announced yesterday that beginning June 10, he would impose 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods imported into the United States until illegal immigrants coming through Mexico are stopped. The tariffs will increase 5% the beginning of each month until capped at 25% on Oct. 1.

In a statement Trump says, “If the illegal immigration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgement, the tariffs will be removed.”

This move comes at an awkward time just as Mexico, Canada and the United States are trying to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Earlier, a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen had threatened to not consider the USMCA as long as the steel and aluminum tariffs were in place on Mexico and Canada.

The United States imported $346.5 billion of Mexican goods in 2018.

Canada and Mexico move forward on USMCA
Legislation was introduced this week in the Canadian Parliament to implement the USMCA. Parliament adjourns in a few weeks for federal elections in October. It is expected Canada will wait on final passage until it is determined what the United States is going to do with USMCA.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador submitted the USMCA for Senate approval. According to press reports, Obrador would like the Senate to hold a special session to consider the USMCA before their next regular session scheduled in September. Only the Senate is required to approve the USMCA in Mexico.

EPA moves to year-round E15
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced it was lifting restrictions on the sale of E15 during the summer months. The announcement will allow gasoline stations to sell blends containing up to 15% corn-based ethanol year-round.

Growth Energy, in a statement, estimates this announcement will result in over a billion new gallons of ethanol demand in the next five years and could increase the market for corn by 2 billion bushels over time.

Disaster aid on hold
Twice this week, Republican Congressmen objected when the House Democratic leadership tried to bring up the disaster bill for a voice vote during a pro forma session. It takes unanimous consent for a bill to be considered during a pro forma session. The likely outcome, when the House returns next week for regular session, will be that the disaster aid bill will pass and be sent to the president.

Planting progress bogged down
The latest USDA weekly “Crop Progress” report shows major corn and soybeans states are far behind in planting this year due to wet weather.

The latest report shows as of May 26, 58% of corn acres had been planted compared to a five-year average of 90%. Illinois stands at 35% planted compared to a 95% five-year average. Indiana is at 22% compared to 85%, Ohio is at 22% compared to 78%, and South Dakota is at 25% compared to 90%.

Soybeans stand at 29% compared to a five-year average of 66%. Major soybean states — Illinois stands at 14% compared to 70% five-year average, Indiana is at 11% compared to 63%, Iowa is at 32% compared to 77%, Missouri is at 12% compared to 53%, and Ohio stands at 11% compared to 55%.

The question now is how many prevented planting acres will there be and how many corn acres will be switched to soybeans.

USDA names Pork Board members
USDA announced the appointments of five members to three-year terms on the National Pork Board. They are Russell A. Nugent III, Lowell, Ark.; Gene Noem, Ames, Iowa; Bill Luckey, Columbus, Neb.; Alicia Pedemonti, Hopkinton, N.H.; and Michael P. Skahill, Williamsburg, Va.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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