18 de septiembre de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

US dairy farmers: 2018 was critical, 1 in 7 farms closed

By Alfonso Fernandez

 President Donald Trump participates in a White House meeting on Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 4, 2019. EFE-EPA / MICHAEL REYNOLDS

President Donald Trump participates in a White House meeting on Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 4, 2019. EFE-EPA / MICHAEL REYNOLDS

By Alfonso Fernandez

Washington, Sep 8 (efe-epa).- "In 2018, things were critical. We registered the closure of one in seven farms due to the impact of the tariffs," Jaime Castaneda, the vice president of the US National Milk Producers Federation, told EFE.

US dairy farmers, one of the sectors most affected by the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing, are pointing out the damage they have suffered and are looking forward with trepidation to a period of prolonged economic uncertainty.

Before the first round of tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by US President Donald Trump and Beijing's tit-for-tat retaliatory measures, the Chinese market was the one that had been growing fastest for US dairy products.

Castaneda said that during the first six months of 2018, exports to China had grown by almost 20 percent compared with the previous year.

"However, as soon as the tariffs were imposed (in May 2018), dairy exports to China dropped. In the second half of the year, exports fell 32 percent, despite the fact that China was buying 10 percent more dairy products overall," he said in an interview with EFE.

If the focus is expanded to a whole year, from July 2018 to July 2019, the impact is even worse: exports to China plunged by 42 percent.

Although the organization acknowledged Beijing's unfair business practices in other areas - which, among other things, Trump's trade war is aiming to halt - discontent among dairy farmers is noteworthy since they think "that it should have been done in another way."

"We'd have liked to face these issues with other countries, like France and Spain, who have the same problems we have (with China), and not to do it alone," he said.

Castaneda said that the policy adds complexity to the scenario in the sector, especially given that next year Trump is seeking re-election.

"We should be dealing with the issues one by one. We understand that the president has just four years here, while the Chinese president, obviously is president for life. That clearly complicates things. You end up trying to do too many things at the same time," he said.

The main US dairy producing states are California, Wisconsin, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania.

Of those, traditionally Democratic Wisconsin and Pennsylvania backed Trump in 2016 and were determining factors in the Republican mogul's election victory, and support for him from the agricultural and livestock sector will be key to his re-election.

After months of denying that the tariff war would have any effects on US producers, pressure and complaints from the sector have resulted in forcing the White House to announce two multi-million dollar packages of financial aid to farmers.

"That's not the solution, we've said on numerous occasions," Castaneda said.

But beyond election considerations, he said, the basic problem is "the need to open new markets," something that Europe is doing by negotiating agreements that "are advantageous for them" - like the one recently reached with the Mercosur trade bloc.

"We're lagging behind by closing off these markets with trade wars," Castaneda lamented.

After being the big driver for free trade worldwide, it is surprising that at present the US is the defender of protectionism and that it has launched a tariff war.

Castaneda said that during the Barack Obama administration (2009-2017), there was no big push to open markets and nobody had spoken clearly about "free trade" since the previous administration of George W. Bush (2001-2009).

"But it's true that the extreme positions of this government had not (yet) been seen," he said, referring to Trump, who came into the White House with an aggressive agenda of economic nationalism.

However, the president does not seem inclined to back down and he has already announced the raising of tariffs on hundreds of other Chinese products, the latest round coming in late August, promising yet another series of tariff hikes in December according to which the entire gamut of Chinese-made products will be subject to heavy tariffs.

Beijing, once again, has replied with similar measures and redoubled its pressure on the battered US dairy sector.

Histórico de noticias
Jason Moran and his ode to jazz arrive at New York's Whitney Museum

New York, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Jason Moran, considered to be one of the most innovative jazz musicians in the United States, has created an ode to that...

Greta Thunberg, activists urge Congress to act on climate change

Washington, Sep 17 (efe-epa).- Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, along with a group of indigenous leaders, on Tuesday demanded...

Nicaragua zoo welcomes scarlet macaw born in captivity

Managua, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Nicaragua's National Zoo has welcomed a baby scarlet macaw, a species in danger of extinction, born in captivity at the zoo for...

Baseball legend Mariano Rivera receives Medal of Freedom from Trump

Washington, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Panama-born baseball legend Mariano Rivera, the former New York Yankees pitcher, on Monday received the Presidential Medal of...

New York hairdressers look after Latino community's mental health

By Ruth E. Hernandez Beltran

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy as per settlement

New York, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy in the...

Vaping: Roulette of chemical ingredients that can cause cancer

Washington, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Electronic cigarettes contain a chemical flavoring compound that can cause cancer and that has been prohibited as an additive...

Hurricane Humberto intensifies, threatens US coast with strong waves

Miami, Sep 16 (EFE).- Hurricane Humberto continues intensifying in the Atlantic on Monday and threatens to pound the southeast coast of the United States...

Honduran president asks CentAm to work together to overcome common enemies

Tegucigalpa, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday urged Central Americans to unite to face "common enemies," including...

Venezuelans in forefront of new delivery operations in Ecuador

By Daniela Brik

Maradona makes stumbling debut as Gimnasia coach

Buenos Aires, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Diego Maradona had a bitter first outing as the new coach for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, falling to Racing Club 2-1...

Argentina's gov't to present new budget amid economic woes

Buenos Aires, Sep 15 (EFE).- Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza will present the proposed 2020 budget to the Argentine Congress this week, a budget that will...

UN proposes better education, security to protect religious sites

By Mario Villar

Bolivian indigenous people try to recover in aftermath of Amazon fires

By Gabriel Romano

Celebrities turn out to help Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

San Juan, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Almost half of the 2,500 people listed as missing after Hurricane Dorian devastated the northwestern Bahamas have been tracked...

Migrant advocate says Mexican gov't hindered by political realities

By Juan Manuel Ramirez G.

Bahamas officials estimate 2,500 missing after Hurricane Dorian

San Juan, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Bahamas emergency authorities estimate that some 2,500 people are missing after the devastating passage of Hurricane Dorian...

Trump doesn't rule out easing Iran sanctions to pave way for Rouhani summit

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday did not rule out relaxing US sanctions on Iran in the coming weeks, amid rumors that he...

Mexico's gov't pumps $5 bn in capital into Pemex

Mexico City, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- The federal government said Wednesday that it was pumping $5 billion in capital into Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), bolstering...

Trump rips Fed, urges rate cuts and zero interest rates

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on Federal Reserve policy makers on Wednesday, calling them "Boneheads" and urging...

Trump threatens Taliban on anniversary of 9/11

Washington, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday - the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks - promised to escalate combat...

Apple opts for classic look with new iPhones, focuses on camera improvements

By Marc Arcas

TV series "Monarca" shows Mexico that doesn't ride burros or wear sombreros

Mexico City, Sep 10 (efe-epa).- The television series "Monarca," which will air on Netflix on Sept. 13, depicts a Mexico that is "current, that doesn't ride...

Tenharim tribe, the guardians of the Amazon, battling against wildfires

By Fernando Bizerra