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United States and South Korea Reach Agreement on Guaranteed Market Access for American Rice

(Washington, D.C., November 19, 2019) – United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue are pleased to announce that the Trump Administration has reached an agreement with the government of South Korea on market access for U.S. rice.


Under the agreement, Korea will provide access for 132,304 tons of U.S. rice annually, with an annual value of approximately $110 million. Korea also agreed to important disciplines to ensure transparency and predictability around the tendering and auctioning for U.S. rice.

“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, this agreement gives our farmers the largest volume of guaranteed market access for rice in Korea that the United States has ever enjoyed,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “It will prove enormously beneficial for American producers and their customers in Korea, who will enjoy access to high quality and cost competitive U.S. rice.”

Secretary Perdue said, “Today’s announcement is another great testament of President Trump’s determination to expand export opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. Exports are critical for the economic health of the U.S. rice industry, with half our crop being exported every year. Agreements like this, that expand opportunities for U.S. rice producers in important markets, are critical to introduce foreign customers to the bounty of goods produced by America’s farmers.”


In 2014, the United States, Australia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam entered into negotiations with Korea when its special treatment for rice market access under the World Trade Organization (WTO) expired. As a result of these negotiations, Korea agreed to include in its WTO Schedule a 408,700-ton tariff-rate quota for rice imports with a five percent in-quota duty and a 513-percent above-quota duty. Of that 408,700 tons, Korea will allocate 388,700 tons of rice into country-specific quotas under a Plurilateral Agreement with the United States, Australia, China, Thailand and Vietnam. The remaining 20,000 tons will be administered on a global basis, which U.S. suppliers can also bid for.

The agreement gives the United States the greatest volume of guaranteed rice market access in Korea ever with an annual value of approximately $110 million. Additionally, the agreement provides U.S. suppliers with enhanced disciplines related to administration of the U.S. country-specific quota.


The agreement will enter into force on January 1, 2020.

Propane Shortage Prompts Regional Emergency Declaration

SPRINGFIELD, IL – At the request of Governor Pritzker, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a Regional Emergency Declaration to help keep homes warm and dry wet grain.


Illinois is one of seven states now under the disaster declaration, which permits the transportation of propane, natural gas and heating oil used for heating homes and businesses and drying wet grain. Demand is high and supplies are low due to delivery issues caused by early winter weather conditions and high moisture grain.


“Farmers are struggling to dry high moisture grain caused by wet weather and delayed harvest,” said John Sullivan, Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “Propane is an essential fuel for corn dryers in Illinois and across the Midwest. 2019 has already been a stressful growing and harvest season for farmers. Governor Pritzker, as well as the Illinois Propane Gas Association have made sure we have the resources to help farmers with this declaration.”


Those who use propane and fuel oil to heat their homes also are at risk in a shortage, particularly with the early onset of winter temperatures. November is winter preparedness month and there is no better time than now to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months.


“Being unprepared for winter weather is not just inconvenient, it can be dangerous,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “In Illinois, there are more fatalities related to cold temperatures than heat, tornadoes and floods combined.  We encourage everyone to prepare for winter today by adding a winter survival kit to your car, changing your furnace filter at home and stocking your family’s emergency supply kit.”


Other states that are affected by the emergency declaration include: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

American Poultry Farmers Regain Access to China

Washington, D.C., November 14, 2019 – United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the following statement on China’s decision to lift its ban on poultry imports from the United States:


“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”


Secretary Perdue said, “After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products. America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and U.S. jobs.”


China has banned all U.S. poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014, even though the United States has been free of this disease since August 2017. The United States exported over $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013.


The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.   

Farm Safety Tips

Buy a rollover protective structure (ROPS) for older tractors. If an approved ROPS is not available, avoid using that tractor or consider trading or selling it through a local dealer.

Replace all missing power take-off and rotating equipment shields. Shut off power equipment before leaving the operator’s station.

Check that lights, flashers and reflectors on machines work properly. Always use them when traveling on roadways.

Replace “slow moving vehicle” emblems that aren’t clean and bright.

Inspect and repair farm machinery before the busy season. A well-maintained machine will operate more efficiently and reduce the chance of an injury.

Use proper equipment and procedures when hitching and unhitching implements.

Never enter a manure pit, grain bin or silo without following confined space entry procedures. The gases and materials in these structures kill farmers every year.

Ensure that all workers receive specific instructions on their tasks and the machines they are operating. Be sure they read and understand all operational procedures in the owner’s manual.
Take time to learn basic first aid, CPR and emergency response.

Do not assign jobs to children unless they are physically, mentally and legally ready to perform the job safely, follow directions and can respond to unexpected situations. This may mean waiting until kids are at least 16 years of age.


2020-02 | 2019-11 | 2019-10

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