Last Rounds of Talks for TPP; Avian Flu Still Wreaking Havoc
A trade deal linking 40 percent of the global economy remains on track for a potential agreement by the end of the month. The 12 nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership are slated to meet late this month for the last round of talks. The New York Times reports US officials feel confident enough a deal is at hand that they have scheduled a meeting among the chief negotiators during the last four days in July. Still, it will be some time before a deal is ratified. Under terms set by Congress in trade negotiating legislation last month, a July 31st agreement could not be signed until October 31st or more likely the beginning of November.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is wreaking havoc on the U.S. poultry industry. That was the testimony from USDA’s deputy administrator John Clifford for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The outbreak started back in December and has affected more than 48 million birds in 15 states. USDA has committed more than $500 million to help and Clifford told a Senate hearing "we can and will request additional funds should we need to." Clifford said the U.S. needs to find a better way to control the disease and save the animal protein by developing new strains of vaccines.