World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

Trade Policy Wowzas; Weighing Risks; Monopoly Hunters

Trade Policy Wowzas It is a long weekend for the commodity futures market, and policymakers have left a bevy of developments to think about, including the following: China: It is still a mercantilist concept, but China is reportedly offering to ramp up a six-year buying spree of U.S. goods, pur...

House Ag Committee Majority Members

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has announced the new Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee (see below). First, though, there was a slight surprise concerning some returning members. For committee assignments, both party caucuses generally designate exclusive or so-cal...

Government Shutdown Options; Trade Policy Delays; Weather and When

Government Shutdown Options Using federal employees as ransom in a White House/congressional fight over a very small federal spending program (border security) is both unsophisticated and morally wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now cancelled the use of the House chamber for the president&...

Diluted Brinksmanship; Dems Pick Trade Leader; Polite or Duplicitous; Glyphocide

Diluted Brinksmanship Politicians do not usually make unpleasant decisions until and unless they are forced into a corner. That is the whole point of brinkmanship in politics - to force a change in position. However, the two current and most prominent efforts at brinkmanship, the U.S. trade war...

Pick Your Messenger; Markets Judges are (Flawed) People Too; Betrayals All Around; Common Transatlantic Problems

Pick Your Messenger President Trump assured farmers attending the American Farm Bureau annual meeting that the negotiations with China are going great and they will be the beneficiaries. He said a deal is in the offing due to the duties he imposed on Chinese goods. By contrast, U.S. Trade Repre...

biofuel

EPA Administrator Confirmation Hearing and Biofuel Outlook

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) will hold a confirmation hearing tomorrow for Andrew Wheeler, nominated last week by President Trump to be the EPA administrator. He has been the acting in that position  since July and is the former deputy administrator. Wheeler was...

Manipulated Eats; Manipulated Trade Debate

Manipulated Eats The year ahead will be packed with various campaigns trying to change the human food consumption pattern. They will be funded by environmental groups, wealthy individuals, industry and governments. The anti-meat campaign will be in full gear in 2019, hoping to turn meat avoidan...

House Ag Committee Changes Not Yet Settled

The new House Democratic majority is in the process of making committee assignments, and the new chairmen are outlining their panels’ agendas. However, it appears that there is more up in the air than settled with the House Agriculture Committee (HAC). Meanwhile, what is known so far are...

What’s Working and What Isn’t at USDA

The federal government shutdown is now in day 21, matching the record set in 1995-1996 when the House in the 104th Congress was controlled by Republicans and the president was a Democrat - the reverse of today’s situation. Yesterday the House passed an appropriations bill to fund USDA and...

Dark, Happy Winter Thoughts

The U.S. government is headed into a record-long shutdown with no end in sight. Americans are fractured politically. There is even talk of civil war on social media with left and right arguing which side has more firepower: those with illegal guns in coastal inner cities or the armed rednecks i...

Odd Man Up; Antibiotic Correlations; Half-Truths; Supplying the World

Odd Man Up Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee and is at once mainstream and unpredictable. He has said he disagrees with Donald Trump’s use of the national security (Section 232) rationale for extracting concessions from trading partners, and...

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal; Globalization’s Future

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal It comes with downsides, but U.S. agriculture continues to be highlighted in a manner that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Analysts would listen keenly for the rare times when a president would make a mere mention of farmers in the annual State of...

Trade Policy Wowzas; Weighing Risks; Monopoly Hunters

Trade Policy Wowzas It is a long weekend for the commodity futures market, and policymakers have left a bevy of developments to think about, including the following: China: It is still a mercantilist concept, but China is reportedly offering to ramp up a six-year buying spree of U.S. goods, pur...

House Ag Committee Majority Members

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has announced the new Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee (see below). First, though, there was a slight surprise concerning some returning members. For committee assignments, both party caucuses generally designate exclusive or so-cal...

Government Shutdown Options; Trade Policy Delays; Weather and When

Government Shutdown Options Using federal employees as ransom in a White House/congressional fight over a very small federal spending program (border security) is both unsophisticated and morally wrong. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now cancelled the use of the House chamber for the president&...

Diluted Brinksmanship; Dems Pick Trade Leader; Polite or Duplicitous; Glyphocide

Diluted Brinksmanship Politicians do not usually make unpleasant decisions until and unless they are forced into a corner. That is the whole point of brinkmanship in politics - to force a change in position. However, the two current and most prominent efforts at brinkmanship, the U.S. trade war...

Pick Your Messenger; Markets Judges are (Flawed) People Too; Betrayals All Around; Common Transatlantic Problems

Pick Your Messenger President Trump assured farmers attending the American Farm Bureau annual meeting that the negotiations with China are going great and they will be the beneficiaries. He said a deal is in the offing due to the duties he imposed on Chinese goods. By contrast, U.S. Trade Repre...

biofuel

EPA Administrator Confirmation Hearing and Biofuel Outlook

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) will hold a confirmation hearing tomorrow for Andrew Wheeler, nominated last week by President Trump to be the EPA administrator. He has been the acting in that position  since July and is the former deputy administrator. Wheeler was...

Manipulated Eats; Manipulated Trade Debate

Manipulated Eats The year ahead will be packed with various campaigns trying to change the human food consumption pattern. They will be funded by environmental groups, wealthy individuals, industry and governments. The anti-meat campaign will be in full gear in 2019, hoping to turn meat avoidan...

House Ag Committee Changes Not Yet Settled

The new House Democratic majority is in the process of making committee assignments, and the new chairmen are outlining their panels’ agendas. However, it appears that there is more up in the air than settled with the House Agriculture Committee (HAC). Meanwhile, what is known so far are...

What’s Working and What Isn’t at USDA

The federal government shutdown is now in day 21, matching the record set in 1995-1996 when the House in the 104th Congress was controlled by Republicans and the president was a Democrat - the reverse of today’s situation. Yesterday the House passed an appropriations bill to fund USDA and...

Dark, Happy Winter Thoughts

The U.S. government is headed into a record-long shutdown with no end in sight. Americans are fractured politically. There is even talk of civil war on social media with left and right arguing which side has more firepower: those with illegal guns in coastal inner cities or the armed rednecks i...

Odd Man Up; Antibiotic Correlations; Half-Truths; Supplying the World

Odd Man Up Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee and is at once mainstream and unpredictable. He has said he disagrees with Donald Trump’s use of the national security (Section 232) rationale for extracting concessions from trading partners, and...

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal; Globalization’s Future

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal It comes with downsides, but U.S. agriculture continues to be highlighted in a manner that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Analysts would listen keenly for the rare times when a president would make a mere mention of farmers in the annual State of...

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