**2017 was a great year for U.S. pork and beef exports to Colombia, but not without a lot of oversight. Through November, pork exports to Colombia were up 65% year-over-year. U.S. beef exports increased 28% in volume and 15% in value.

But, U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Cheyenne McEndaffer warns red meat exports to Colombia still face significant technical barriers like labeling and documentation, or damaged boxes. She says transportation and infrastructure issues also present obstacles in Colombia.

**The tax bill President Trump signed into law before Christmas may be reopened to protect grain companies against the impact of a new deduction for farm cooperative members.

Republican Senators are now trying to revise the legislation to address complaints the bill unfairly favors co-ops and their members.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota tells Agri-Pulse the fix would "dial back" the benefit to co-op members in order to extend it to farmers who sell their grain to other buyers.


**Brazil may remove a 20-percent tariff on ethanol imports from the U.S.

But, Ag Minister Blairo Maggi says the decision could depend on the U.S. lifting a ban on fresh beef exports from Brazil.

Last year, Brazil imposed the tax on ethanol from the U.S. to protect local producers as imports spiked.

The U.S. banned shipments of fresh beef from Brazil following a food safety scandal involving inspector bribes which led to heightened inspections that uncovered potential health risks.