The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association testified on what it called the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the U.S. International Trade Commission. Kevin Kester, NCBA’s Policy Division Chair, testified before the ITC, stressing the importance of TPP for the cattle industry. The trade agreement, according to NCBA, offers increased access to the Japanese market for cattle producers. In 2014, the U.S. exported beef worth $1.6 billion into Japan at a 38.5 percent tariff. Once TPP is implemented that tariff rate will phase down to 9 percent over 15 years, with a significant cut in the first year.

Merger talks continue for Swiss-based Syngenta with China’s State-owned ChemChina and U.S. based Monsanto. ChemChina is seeking a loan package by Western banks to fund a possible Syngenta takeover that could later be refinanced by Chinese banks. A takeover of Syngenta by ChemChina would underpin an effort by the Chinese government to boost farming productivity as it seeks to cut reliance on food imports amid limited farmland, a growing population, and higher meat consumption.