Trade Promotion Authority Passes Senate; Debate Moves to House of Representatives

With the passage last Friday of trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation by the U.S. Senate, the trade policy focus now shifts to the U.S. House of Representatives. No schedule has been announced yet for House action on TPA, though vigorous debate and ultimately a close vote are expected.

“The Senate’s action is important progress but there is more work to do,” said U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chairman Ron Gray. “TPA is an essential tool for achieving progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements that can give U.S. farmers additional market access.”

Tanzanian Poultry Producer Success Story: Tarsila Kunda Mashelle

Tanzania FFP

Tarsila Kunda Mashelle was identified early in the ongoing U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Food for Progress program in Tanzania as a poultry producer who could benefit from one-on-one training. Just over a year later, this outreach has paid off in concrete results. She has already made many improvements in her flock management techniques and grown her flock to include 6,000 layers that are overseen by four staff members.

U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and RFA Participate in Exploratory Market Development Mission to Japan

Representatives of Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) traveled to Tokyo this week to follow up on an industry market assessment of the potential to export U.S. ethanol to Japan. Over the next two years, the government of Japan will be undertaking a full review of its national energy policies, including biofuels, potentially opening up opportunities for additional ethanol exports there.

Chart of Note

Colombia On Track To Again Fill Duty-Free Quota Before Year’s End

Colombia Chart

This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s Chart of Note illustrates that Colombia is importing a similar amount of U.S. corn in the first four months of this calendar year as compared to last year and will likely exhaust its duty-free quota soon. This is in stark contrast to just two years before when only 18,500 metric tons (728,000 bushels) of U.S. corn were imported by Colombia from January to April 30. This large increase in the past two years was made possible by both greater availability and the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA).

Word from the Ground

Monopolies, Reform Policies, MTBE and U.S. Ethanol Exports

Mexico ethanol

By: Ashley Kongs, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Ethanol Export Programs

This week, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and its partners, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), are conducting a mission to Mexico to explore the potential ethanol market in that country. This comes on the heels of Pemex’s announcement earlier this year that it would invest 880 million pesos ($58 million USD) in infrastructure upgrades to handle and blend ethanol into gasoline in Mexico. Pemex holds a monopoly on Mexico’s gasoline market.