World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

Drowning Transatlantic; Geneva Ag Discussions; Bilateral Stunts

Drowning Transatlantic At 8.4 kilometers (5.2 miles) deep, the Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest point in the North Atlantic Ocean. Transatlantic relations may be headed for an even deeper depression. The European Parliament voted against endorsing the trade mandate sought by Brussels for talks...

EU-U.S. Tentative Deal on Beef

Even though the EU-U.S. trade agreement talks are not moving apace, largely because of the EU reluctance to include agriculture versus U.S. insistence that it must be on the table, there does seem to be movement on beef exports. The parties have reached an “agreement in principle” t...

biofuel

More Small Refinery Exemptions Granted

The EPA announced yesterday that it had granted five additional small refinery exemptions (SREs) for 2017, reducing the number of pending petitions in the queue for that year as of 1 March from seven to two. This brings the total number of exemptions to 9.4 percent of the 19.28 billion gallons...

Against the Grain; Bipartisan Horses; China and EU Deals

Against the Grain Demographics are destiny, and with 60 percent of the world’s population and some of its fastest-growing economies, this is supposed to be the Asian Century. That is the theme of the book “The Future is Asian” by Singaporean geopolitical consultant Parag Khann...

Trump’s China Mystery; The EU Bullseye; SOEs in Focus

Trump’s China Mystery U.S. President Donald’s Trump’s characterization of his negotiations with the Chinese are not adding up unless Xi’s government is having troubles. He has softened his strategy, and the Chinese are playing nice. He is as unconventional as ever. Mr. T...

Creative Destruction; Ignoring Economics

Creative Destruction It is often said that it is easier to use government to stop something from happening than to use it to make something happen. Some members in the U.S. House of Representatives this week suggested that banks be held liable for global warming and other ills since they financ...

biofuel

Year-Round E15 and RIN Reform Proposed; Annual Ethanol Use Down

Year-Round E15 and RIN Reform Proposed The EPA released its proposed waiver for year-round E15 use today. As previously reported (click here), it will now be on a tight approval deadline before the summer driving season starts. Given the risk of regulatory uncertainty and needed infrastructure...

Anti-Reform’s Fishy Excuses; Commodity Glut; Government over People

Anti-Reform’s Fishy Excuses USTR Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee that the WTO rules are out of date and need reform. This is evidenced by reports that U.S. complaints about the self-designation of developing country status are causing collateral damage to negotiations...

China Purchasing Commitments; WTO Leverage

China Purchasing Commitments One of the Trump administration’s goals in negotiating a trade deal with China is to get Beijing’s commitment to buy more American farm products, especially soybeans as well as perhaps some sorghum and DDGS. China can only import what it needs, though, a...

President’s Budget Proposal Kicks Off Broken Fiscal Process

The president released his proposed FY 2020 budget today. It provides another salvo in the border wall fight along with about $27 billion in cuts for USDA and farm bill programs as well as a boost of nearly $3 billion via inspection user fees for USDA agencies. The House and Senate Budget Commi...

Wisdom of Traders; All About the Shekels; For Politicians, Not People

Wisdom of Traders Sometimes it takes 50 yeas of experience in an industry to have the wisdom and courage to speak the truth. Derek Chambers, a semi-retired cocoa trader, had good words of advice at this week’s Cocoa Merchants Association of America conference in Miami. He advised delegate...

India Doubles Down; Too Green

India Doubles Down Brazil and Australia have requested WTO dispute consultations with New Delhi, charging that India’s sugar subsidies exceed its commitment on domestic supports. The case follows a similar challenge by the U.S. on other crops. The reaction from the Modi government is to a...

Drowning Transatlantic; Geneva Ag Discussions; Bilateral Stunts

Drowning Transatlantic At 8.4 kilometers (5.2 miles) deep, the Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest point in the North Atlantic Ocean. Transatlantic relations may be headed for an even deeper depression. The European Parliament voted against endorsing the trade mandate sought by Brussels for talks...

EU-U.S. Tentative Deal on Beef

Even though the EU-U.S. trade agreement talks are not moving apace, largely because of the EU reluctance to include agriculture versus U.S. insistence that it must be on the table, there does seem to be movement on beef exports. The parties have reached an “agreement in principle” t...

biofuel

More Small Refinery Exemptions Granted

The EPA announced yesterday that it had granted five additional small refinery exemptions (SREs) for 2017, reducing the number of pending petitions in the queue for that year as of 1 March from seven to two. This brings the total number of exemptions to 9.4 percent of the 19.28 billion gallons...

Against the Grain; Bipartisan Horses; China and EU Deals

Against the Grain Demographics are destiny, and with 60 percent of the world’s population and some of its fastest-growing economies, this is supposed to be the Asian Century. That is the theme of the book “The Future is Asian” by Singaporean geopolitical consultant Parag Khann...

Trump’s China Mystery; The EU Bullseye; SOEs in Focus

Trump’s China Mystery U.S. President Donald’s Trump’s characterization of his negotiations with the Chinese are not adding up unless Xi’s government is having troubles. He has softened his strategy, and the Chinese are playing nice. He is as unconventional as ever. Mr. T...

Creative Destruction; Ignoring Economics

Creative Destruction It is often said that it is easier to use government to stop something from happening than to use it to make something happen. Some members in the U.S. House of Representatives this week suggested that banks be held liable for global warming and other ills since they financ...

biofuel

Year-Round E15 and RIN Reform Proposed; Annual Ethanol Use Down

Year-Round E15 and RIN Reform Proposed The EPA released its proposed waiver for year-round E15 use today. As previously reported (click here), it will now be on a tight approval deadline before the summer driving season starts. Given the risk of regulatory uncertainty and needed infrastructure...

Anti-Reform’s Fishy Excuses; Commodity Glut; Government over People

Anti-Reform’s Fishy Excuses USTR Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee that the WTO rules are out of date and need reform. This is evidenced by reports that U.S. complaints about the self-designation of developing country status are causing collateral damage to negotiations...

China Purchasing Commitments; WTO Leverage

China Purchasing Commitments One of the Trump administration’s goals in negotiating a trade deal with China is to get Beijing’s commitment to buy more American farm products, especially soybeans as well as perhaps some sorghum and DDGS. China can only import what it needs, though, a...

President’s Budget Proposal Kicks Off Broken Fiscal Process

The president released his proposed FY 2020 budget today. It provides another salvo in the border wall fight along with about $27 billion in cuts for USDA and farm bill programs as well as a boost of nearly $3 billion via inspection user fees for USDA agencies. The House and Senate Budget Commi...

Wisdom of Traders; All About the Shekels; For Politicians, Not People

Wisdom of Traders Sometimes it takes 50 yeas of experience in an industry to have the wisdom and courage to speak the truth. Derek Chambers, a semi-retired cocoa trader, had good words of advice at this week’s Cocoa Merchants Association of America conference in Miami. He advised delegate...

India Doubles Down; Too Green

India Doubles Down Brazil and Australia have requested WTO dispute consultations with New Delhi, charging that India’s sugar subsidies exceed its commitment on domestic supports. The case follows a similar challenge by the U.S. on other crops. The reaction from the Modi government is to a...

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