News & Events
Concerns about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have disrupted relationships with longstanding customers of U.S. grains and caused significant concern in farm country, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chairman Chip Councell testified Tuesday to a panel of government officials examining priorities ahead of NAFTA renegotiation talks.
Councell, a farmer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, spoke at the hearing to provide information and offer personal insights into the impact of NAFTA changes to the U.S. corn, sorghum and barley industries.
The Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) announced recently a change that will increase the maximum amount of ethanol that can be blended in Mexican gas supplies from 5.8 percent to 10 percent, except in the cities of Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City.
A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight on changes to Cuba policy, announced Friday:
“The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has worked in Cuba for nearly two decades to help capture grain demand and develop its livestock industry within the confines of U.S. policy. While the announcement today will make our efforts in Cuba more difficult – and almost certainly cost U.S. corn farmers sales in the short term – we have every intention of continuing our work there to build long-term, mutually-beneficial trade.
Trade equals huge success for exports of U.S. feed grains in all forms, particularly to the 20 countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement (FTA).
Exports of feed grains in all forms to FTA partner countries have increased by nearly 24 percent over the last 10 marketing years (2006/2007 to 2015/2016), according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade data and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).
The full U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Board of Directors is meeting in Mexico City, Mexico, this week to discuss the trade relationship between U.S. producers and Mexican end-users.
“We felt it was really important for the board, and the board felt it was important, to meet with their customers face-to-face and hear what they have to say,” said USGC President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Sleight. “That physical presence means a lot to our Mexican trading partners.”
U.S. sorghum producers in Texas and Kansas are tapping into the logistical advantages of their closest international market - Mexico - during a direct sales mission organized by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP).
A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight:
"We are pleased to hear that U.S. and Mexican negotiators have reached a new sugar suspension agreement. This milestone is an important one as we work to maintain our existing, robust trade of U.S. grains and related products while awaiting the beginning of NAFTA modernization negotiations.
U.S. farmers, agribusinesses and trade organizations are - and must continue to be - actively engaged in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Sleight conveyed that call to action and offered a strong show of support for the long-standing partnership between U.S. and Mexican agriculture during recent remarks to the Mexican feed industry.
Beer is Mexico’s top agricultural export to the United States. And Mexico purchases more U.S. barley to brew that beer than from any other market.
A team of Mexican brewing industry leaders is traveling in North Dakota and Montana this week to call attention to the policy that made this mutually beneficial trading relationship possible - the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Developing markets for U.S. ethanol involves a complex combination of trade policy and marketing work. Two U.S. Grains Council (USGC) activities this past week aimed to not only provide insights on ethanol policy development with a role for trade, but also exchange information with government officials, traders and even consumers about the environmental, health and economic benefits of increased ethanol use.