• Negotiators will meet for another round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership this week.

    Negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries will meet in Washington D.C. as bilateral market access for automobiles and for agriculture between Japan and the United States continue to stall progress.

    Meanwhile, President Obama indicated last week he was willing to side with Republicans in the incoming Congress on free trade, including Trade Promotion Authority, fast tracking approval through Congress.

  • On Friday, USDA helped kick of an effort to highlight the importance of soil in everyday life.

    Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie addressed members of the United Nations to kick of International Year of Soils.

    Bonnie stated, “USDA is embracing this unique opportunity to tell the world about the importance of soil conservation and how we've worked with private landowners since 1935 to protect and improve this priceless natural resource.”

    The year of awareness aims to increase understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.