**The National Pork Producers Council is hailing what they call a momentous week after Japan ratified a new trade agreement with the U.S. last Wednesday, that will now take effect on January 1.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer commends Japan's quick action to approve this important trade deal saying the agreement should place U.S. pork producers back on a level playing field with international competitors in one of our most important export markets.

**After two dry months to begin the California rainy season, farmers and ranchers generally welcome December storms that brings rain to lower elevations and snow to the Sierras.

State water officials point out precipitation LAST YEAR didn't pick up until after Thanksgiving, but eventually brought a wet winter.

Reservoir levels remain generally above average as a result, though the State Water Project issued its initial allocation at only 10% supplies.

**U.S. trade with China extended its slide in October as goods imported from the nation fell to a three-year low amid prolonged talks between the two largest economies.

According to agweb.com, Commerce Department data shows imports from China declined 4.8% from the prior month while exports tumbled 17%, the least in almost a year.

The overall U.S. deficit in goods and services trade narrowed to $47.2 billion in October, less than the median estimate of $48.5 billion by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

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