Vietnam To Buy $3 Billion In U.S. Farm Products

(IARN) — Vietnam is committing to buy $3 billion in U.S. farm goods to shrink the soaring trade surplus it has with America. Bloomberg says the Asian nation is looking to appease the Trump administration, which isn’t happy about the deficit. Vietnam is also looking to satisfy the complaints of U.S. companies that face difficulties in accessing Vietnamese markets. Read more

COVID-19 Forces Federal Reserve To Lower Interest Rates

(IARN) — “The Federal Open Market Committee today announced a half percentage point reduction in the target range for the federal funds rate, bringing the range to one- to one-and-a-quarter percent,” stated Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Committee members chose to lower interest rates “to help the U.S. economy keep strong in the face of new risks to the economic outlook.” The fundamentals, however, remain strong, according to Chair Powell.

“The unemployment rate has been near half-century lows for more than a year, the pace of job gains has been solid, and wages have been rising. These strong labor market conditions have underpinned solid household spending, which has been the key driver of economic growth over the past year,” Chair Powell said.

FOMC members convened earlier this year and felt the “prospects for continued economic growth remained favorable” and deemed the monetary policy “well-positioned” to support this outlook. Since then, the spread of the Coronavirus has brought new challenges and risks, shares Chair Powell.

“The virus has afflicted many communities around the world, and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been harmed. The outbreak has also disrupted economic activity in many countries and prompted significant movement in financial markets,” Chair Powell said.

Committee members anticipate economic impacts, both home and abroad, to last for “some time.” United States industries affected by the virus include, but are not limited to: Travel and tourism. American businesses also remain concerned about sourcing materials globally.

Story Courtesy Of Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Federal Open Market Committee Chair Jerome Powell photo courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

United States Pork Exports Soar In Oceania Region

(IARN) — U.S. Meat Export Federation staff last year documented record exports of United States pork to Oceania. Exports to Australia increased by about one-third year-over-year, while exports to New Zealand jumped by nearly 40-percent. USMEF plans to further enhance pork’s presence in this region. Read more

Study Shows Meat Demand Will Remain Strong In 2020

(IARN) — The Food Industry Association and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research, along with the North American Meat Institute Foundation, combined to produce their 15th-annual in-depth study of meat and poultry from the consumer’s perspective. “The Power of Meat 2020” takes a deep dive into consumption trends, sales growth, and consumer demand. The study finds demand for meat is accelerating with $50.5 billion worth of sales in 2019. Read more

EU Changes Stance Again On Willingness To Talk Ag With U.S.

(IARN) — A top European Union (EU) trade official says Europe seriously wants a trade agreement with the United States. However, EU political leaders still won’t negotiate on significant agricultural policies. Bernd Lange is chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade. He was in Washington, D.C. last week to talk to lawmakers and Trump administration officials. Reporters continued to question him about the U.S. demands that the EU reduce its ag tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. farm commodities. “On agriculture, everyone knows that this is not possible,” Lange says. Read more