**Ecuador imported U.S. ag products at a record pace in 2020, but U.S. beef and pork face a number of trade barriers there that have kept it a relatively small destination for red meat exports.

U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Cheyenne McEndaffer says several factors make Ecuador a promising market, including a growing tourism sector and its use of the U.S. dollar as the official currency.

In 2020, U.S. beef export volume to Ecuador was up 24% from 2019 while value was up 38%.

**Trade with the U.S. could get more challenging for China.

In a unanimous Senate vote last week, Katharine Tai was confirmed as the next U.S. Trade Representative.

According to www.agweb.com, Tai, the first Asian-American woman to hold the top USTR spot, made it clear during her confirmation hearing that she would be tough on China.

Tai, whose nomination was supported by more than 100 ag groups, has successfully argued cases against China, with big wins in 2007 and 2014.

www.agweb.com/news/policy/politics/china-critic-katherine-tai-confirmed-ustr-just-ahead-us-china-meetings?mkt

**Six California high school teachers have been named finalists for an award that recognizes outstanding agricultural instructors.

The Golden Owl Award is sponsored by Nationwide, which presents it in California in partnership with the California Farm Bureau and California FFA.

This year’s six California finalists teach agriculture at high schools in Angels Camp, Eureka, Lakeside, Madera, Santa Maria and Tulelake.