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Trade Tensions Escalate: China Targets EU Pork and Dairy Amid EV Dispute

China, fighting back against the European Union plans to impose anti-subsidy duties on electric vehicles made in China, is collecting evidence for an anti-dumping investigation into EU pork and dairy products, The Global Times reported. The threats followed the European Commission’s approval of a more than 38% tariff on EV’s imported from China, beginning next month.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said it reserves the right to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization, alleging dumping of pork products in the Chinese market.

“China reserves the right to file a lawsuit with the WTO and will take all necessary measures to firmly defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” He Yadong, a spokesperson for the MOFCOM, recently said. He called the EU plans “pure” protectionism.

Reuters noted China imported more than $6 billion in pork products in 2023, about half from the EU, with Spain the top supplier at $1.5 billion. The EU exported $1.84 billion in dairy products to China in the same period.

Trivium Chinam, a Beijing-based consultancy, told Reuters that China targets agricultural products because such trade has an immediate impact on farmers and consequences for politicians.

Meanwhile, in other ag-related news:

Bird flu: A pair of USDA reports suggest it will be difficult to stem the spread of H5N1 avian influenza in dairy cows.

The reports were based on a voluntary survey of the 96 affected herds in 12 states as well as an in-depth study of the Michigan outbreak, STAT News reported. The reports conclude though the initial infection likely was spillover from migratory birds, movement of cattle between states is likely responsible for the spread, with further contamination likely caused by farmworkers and shared equipment.

Dr. Raj Panjabi, former White House Senior Director for global health security and biodefense, told USA Today lessons learned from limiting farm-to-farm transmission among poultry flocks should be applied to dairy farms, including upgrading animal hygiene practices and imposing biosecurity measures. So far, three dairy farmworkers have been confirmed infected with the virus but there has been no evidence of person-to-person transmission. Punjabi said farmworkers must be protected from the disease to keep the rest of the population safe.

Drought: The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows extreme drought in parts of New Mexico and Texas, but conditions have eased in much of the rest of the country.

Severe drought remains in parts of the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the Dakotas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Florida. A Dartmouth study released June 14 finds the weekly report is not as useful as it once was amid climate change and needs to be revamped. “The system we use for emergency response to drought conditions is being co-opted by a changing climate,” senior author Justin Mankin, a Dartmouth associate professor, said in a press release.

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