Almond Alliance Commends California Delegation Following Passage of USMCA Agreement

December 19, 2019 –Today the House of Representatives passed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a bi-partisan margin of 385-41. The deal offers benefits to California almond growers by opening up the Canadian and Mexico markets and removing trade barriers.

“The Almond Alliance would like to thank the members of the California delegation who supported this much needed trade agreement,” said Alliance Chairman Mike Curry. “We appreciate those legislators who took the time to listen to us and other agricultural groups and passed a deal that is a boost to U.S. agriculture.”

“The Alliance deeply appreciates the strong support from so many members of the California Congressional delegation,” said Curry. California Congressional delegation members who voted in favor of the trade agreement included Rep. Jim Costa, Rep. T.J. Cox, Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Josh Harder, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Devin Nunes and Rep. Jimmy Panetta.

Curry noted, “Without USMCA, California almonds would have been subject to a 20% tariff in Mexico. USMCA affords almonds the same tariff treatment as NAFTA – zero percent.”

California almond shipments to Canada in the 2018-19 crop year were 61 million pounds, ranking Canada as the ninth largest global destination. Shipments to Mexico for the 2018-19 crop year were 24 million pounds, up 6.2% compared to crop year 2017-18.

“The passage of USMCA will help stabilize an uncertain global marketplace and we are hopeful that we see similar progress with other ongoing trade negotiations,” said Curry. “We look forward to seeing the bill advance in the Senate. The Almond Alliance in collaboration with other California agriculture groups have advocated for movement on USMCA and will continue to do so in the Senate.”

About the Almond Alliance of California

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is a trusted non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the California almond community. California almonds generate more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly contribute more than $11 billion to the state’s total economy. California’s top agricultural export, almonds create approximately 104,000 jobs statewide, over 97,000 in the Central Valley, which suffers from chronic unemployment. The AAC is dedicated to educating state legislators, policy makers and regulatory officials about the California almond community. As a membership-based organization, our members include almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers and allied businesses. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences, social media and personal meetings, AAC works to raise awareness, knowledge and provide a better understanding about the scope, size, value and sustainability of the California almond community.

For more information on the Almond Alliance, visit https://almondalliance.org/ or check out the Almond Alliance on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Almond Alliance Industry Alert on United States and China Phase One Trade Agreement

Dec. 13, 2019 – -The Almond Alliance participated on a White House conference call this morning regarding the United States and China Phase One Trade Agreement which includes agriculture. While many of the details are being worked out, below is a summary of what we know to date.

  • The Phase One agreement includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years, using 2017 purchases as a baseline.
  • The agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution system that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement.
  • The agreement focuses on general obligations, specific to transparency, due process and licensing.
  • China has agreed in negotiations to eliminate non-tariff barriers, for many commodities. While almonds were not named, the Almond Alliance is seeking specific clarification.
  • The Administration is expecting an early January 2020 signing of this agreement and will make the agreement public once it is authenticated.

To view the official press release issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, please click here.

 

Almond Alliance Comments on the USMCA Agreement

Dec. 11, 2019 – -Today the United States Mexico Canada Agreement deal was reached by the United States, Mexico and Canada. While the deal must now be ratified by all three countries, we are hopeful to see the House ratify USMCA before the end of the year.

USMCA offers benefits to California almond growers by opening up the Canadian and Mexico markets and removing trade barriers. “The NAFTA tariffs on shelled almonds was 0% to both Canada and Mexico without NAFTA, US almonds would have been subject to a 20% tariff in Mexico. USMCA affords almonds the same tariff treatment as NAFTA – 0%” said Elaine Trevino, President of the Almond Alliance.

“California almond shipments of almonds to Canada in 2018/19 crop year were 61 million pounds ranking Canada as the ninth largest global destination.  Shipments to Mexico of the 2018/19 crop year were 24 million pounds, up 6.2% compared to FY 2017/18. The passage of USMCA will help stabilize an uncertain global marketplace and we are hopeful that we see similar progress with the ongoing trade negotiations.

Congress adjourns December 20th for its holiday break and we are hopeful that congressional approval can be ratified next week.  We look forward to seeing the bill advance in the Senate. The Almond Alliance in collaboration with other California agriculture groups have advocated for movement on USMCA and will continue to do so in the Senate.

 

About the Almond Alliance of California

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is a trusted non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the California almond community. California almonds generate more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly contribute more than $11 billion to the state’s total economy. California’s top agricultural export, almonds create approximately 104,000 jobs statewide, over 97,000 in the Central Valley, which suffers from chronic unemployment. The AAC is dedicated to educating state legislators, policy makers and regulatory officials about the California almond community. As a membership-based organization, our members include almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers and allied businesses. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences, social media and personal meetings, AAC works to raise awareness, knowledge and provide a better understanding about the scope, size, value and sustainability of the California almond community.

For more information on the Almond Alliance, visit https://almondalliance.org/ or check out the Almond Alliance on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

USDA Extends Deadline to Dec. 20 for Market Facilitation Program

Dec. 11, 2019 – -Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline for producers to apply for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).  The deadline for the Market Facilitation Program has been extended to Friday, December 20.

“2019 has challenged the country’s ag sector – prevented or late planting followed by a delayed harvest has been further complicated by wet and cold weather,” said Bill Northey, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Because some of our producers are still in the field, time to conduct business at the local USDA office is at a premium. We hope this deadline extension will allow producers the opportunity to participate in these important programs.”

The Market Facilitation Program was established to provide payments to agricultural commodities – including almonds – that were directly impacted by foreign retaliatory tariffs. It is part of a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally.

For more information and to view the MFP application, visit the MFP webpage. Growers are encouraged to locate their local FSA office. For more information, visit the DMC webpage, the MFP webpage or your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

About the Almond Alliance of California

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is a trusted non-profit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the California almond community. California almonds generate more than $21 billion in economic revenue and directly contribute more than $11 billion to the state’s total economy. California’s top agricultural export, almonds create approximately 104,000 jobs statewide, over 97,000 in the Central Valley, which suffers from chronic unemployment. The AAC is dedicated to educating state legislators, policy makers and regulatory officials about the California almond community. As a membership-based organization, our members include almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers and allied businesses. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences, social media and personal meetings, AAC works to raise awareness, knowledge and provide a better understanding about the scope, size, value and sustainability of the California almond community.

For more information on the Almond Alliance, visit https://almondalliance.org/ or check out the Almond Alliance on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

Visit us at Booth #731 in the Pavilion building at Cal Expo! December 10 – 12, 2019

Dec. 9, 2019 – -The Almond Alliance team is excited to join our industry partners at the 2019 Almond Conference at Cal Expo Dec. 10-12, 2019! We hope to see you there.

Join us for our session, Advocacy Update: A Sacramento & D.C. Legislative Update on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 11:30 am in Room 2. Much has changed in the regulatory and legislative worlds over the past year regarding the political landscape, trade, pesticides, fumigants, water, logistics, food safety, packaging, bees – just to name a few. During this session, a panel will discuss those shifts and how the California almond industry’s voice is being heard in Sacramento and D.C. Come learn how these changes impact your business and the overall industry.