DENVER – In keeping with the Administration’s goal of strengthening America’s energy independence, the Bureau of Land Management will offer 10 parcels totaling 1,122 acres in Royal Gorge Field Office and the U.S. Forest Service’s Pawnee National Grassland at its September quarterly oil and gas lease sale. The BLM will hold the lease sale online via http://www.energynet.com.

Bidding will begin at 9 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. The BLM will offer two parcels in Cheyenne County, one in Baca County, two in Kiowa County, one in Yuma County, two in Morgan County and two in Weld County. Of the two in Weld County, one parcel is in the Pawnee National Grassland.

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo announced new agreement in principal to suspend antidumping and countervailing duties against Mexican sugar imports into the United States.

“We have gotten the Mexican side to agree to nearly every request made by U.S. industry to address flaws in the current system and ensure fair treatment of American sugar growers and refiners,” said Secretary Ross. “I am glad to say that Minister Guajardo and his colleagues have been honest and collaborative partners in seeking a fair and sustainable solution – this bodes well for our long-term relationship.”

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Restrictions on fee setting violate federal antitrust rules, agency alleges

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board, alleging that the group is unreasonably restraining price competition for appraisal services in Louisiana, contrary to federal antitrust law. The complaint will be submitted to adjudication before an Administrative Law Judge, who will review it and render an initial decision.

In the administrative complaint, the FTC alleges that the Louisiana appraisal board limits the freedom of individual appraisers and their customers to engage in bona fide negotiations to set appraisal fees for real estate appraisals in Louisiana.

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EAST LANSING – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is announcing what is likely the final opportunity for Michigan farmers to receive 2017 conservation funds. Funding remains for several 2017 conservation initiatives and farmers have until June 16 to submit their applications.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has remaining 2017 funds for conservation financial assistance in the Western Lake Erie Basin, the St. Joseph River Watershed, the National Water Quality Initiative in parts of Clinton and Calhoun counties, statewide funding for honey bee pollinator habitat, and funds for improving wildlife habitat and controlling invasive species in selected watersheds through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Agricultural producers and private forest owners should contact their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible to begin the application process.

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the final determinations of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) investigations, finding that imports of steel reinforcement bar (rebar) from Japan and Turkey have been sold in the U.S. market at unfair prices, and that rebar imports from Turkey have been unfairly subsidized by the Turkish government.

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Japan have dumped rebar in the United States at 206.43 percent to 209.46 percent less than fair value (AD). Exporters from Turkey have sold rebar in the United States at 5.39 percent to 8.17 percent less than fair value (AD) and received unfair government subsidies of 16.21 percent (CVD).

“The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” said Secretary Ross. “We will continue to take action on behalf of U.S. industry to defend American businesses, their workers, and our communities adversely impacted by unfair imports.”

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President of the United States Donald Trump and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping agreed at their Mar-a-Lago meeting to advance U.S. - China economic cooperation with a 100-day action plan under the framework of the U.S. - China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Under the leadership of the co-chairs, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross of the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang of China, both nations have negotiated intensively to make progress on key issues. The three co-chairs reached consensus on initial commitments under the 100-day plan and objectives for next steps.

In approximately one month following the Presidential Summit, the two sides reached consensus on addressing issues in areas including agricultural trade, financial services, investment, and energy. For details, see the U.S.-China joint fact sheet below.

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