World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

Strange Bedfellows; Lobby Opportunity; Labor Hurdle

Strange Bedfellows The oil industry and U.S. agriculture have long conflicted with one another. The oil industry strongly opposed the ethanol blending mandate pushed through the Congress by the agriculture sector. Ethanol not only replaced the oil industry’s gasoline, but it also created...

Coming Deadlines: Rail Strike, Federal Budget, and 2023 RVOs

Rail Strike The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote tomorrow to block a railroad workers’ strike and/or a railroad lock out of labor. Currently, the deadline for the “cooling off” period is next Friday, 9 December, at midnight, but potentially hazardous product lik...

AMLO Wiggle Room; New Congress/GM Corn Prospects; Pricing Commodities

AMLO Wiggle Room At a meeting yesterday with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) conceded that his announced ban on GM corn in 2024 would not have to apply to yellow corn for animal feed. Secretary Vilsack warned the Mexican leader ther...

Labor Crisis; China is EV Problem

Labor Crisis The U.S. unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent and due to low birth rates, an aging population, the great resignation, and demand for work-life balance has the forecast calling for a continued shortage of workers. At the same time IT companies are laying off workers, the Wall Street...

Japan Approves New Safeguard Triggers on U.S. Beef

Last week the Upper House of Japan’s Diet approved a new beef safeguard protocol which amends the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA). That is the final step of approval needed for the agreement and the two countries are finalizing the implementation procedures. The protocol was negotiated...

Transatlantic Crisis

The daily messaging from Europe is that it is in crisis, and not only does Washington not care, but it is also making things worse. Truthfully, the complaints are met with a smirk by those in U.S. agriculture. Brussels accuses Washington of distorting markets with its Inflation Reduction Act (I...

biofuel energy

American Petroleum Institute Backs Year-Round E15

The American Petroleum Institute (AP), the association of oil drilling, refining, and natural gas producing companies, joined this week in signing a letter to Congress backing a move to grant year-round use of E15. Other signatories to the letter included the Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), G...

Waste to Energy

It is said that the trade in agricultural products is the movement of water and energy. Plants are grown where there is water, and ultimately, they are composed of energy (calories) derived from the sun. The sun bombards the earth with 173,000 terawatts of power on a continuous basis. Humans us...

Senate Ag Committee Kicks Off with Rural Development and FTX Hearings

The Senate Agriculture Committee has scheduled hearings on the Rural Development and Energy titles of the farm bill as well as the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 (DCCPA), which got a lot hotter after the FTX collapse. While this is still the 117th Congress, the rural develo...

Poor Farm Bill Timing; Losing Confidence; Authoritarian Mexico

Poor Farm Bill Timing Activists are writing up their list of wants in the 2023 farm bill and it contains the usual demands to shift support to small farms, organic and local. They want diversified small farms selling directly to consumers, cutting out large farms and agribusiness. They want the...

Loss/Damage Splits Developing; G20 Equitable and Inclusive; Fast Tractor

Loss/Damage Splits Developing EU Executive Vice President for the Green Deal Frans Timmermans announced at the COP27 meeting that Europe could support contributions to a Loss and Damage fund to help developing countries with climate change, but only if China contributes. After all, China is the...

Pick Your Poison; Unusual Strategic Reserves

Pick Your Poison The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission called on Congress to reconsider whether China should be receiving permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status. MFN was granted in 1980 and PNTR was approved by Congress in 2001 – the latter subject to the President...

Strange Bedfellows; Lobby Opportunity; Labor Hurdle

Strange Bedfellows The oil industry and U.S. agriculture have long conflicted with one another. The oil industry strongly opposed the ethanol blending mandate pushed through the Congress by the agriculture sector. Ethanol not only replaced the oil industry’s gasoline, but it also created...

Coming Deadlines: Rail Strike, Federal Budget, and 2023 RVOs

Rail Strike The U.S. House of Representatives is likely to vote tomorrow to block a railroad workers’ strike and/or a railroad lock out of labor. Currently, the deadline for the “cooling off” period is next Friday, 9 December, at midnight, but potentially hazardous product lik...

AMLO Wiggle Room; New Congress/GM Corn Prospects; Pricing Commodities

AMLO Wiggle Room At a meeting yesterday with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) conceded that his announced ban on GM corn in 2024 would not have to apply to yellow corn for animal feed. Secretary Vilsack warned the Mexican leader ther...

Labor Crisis; China is EV Problem

Labor Crisis The U.S. unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent and due to low birth rates, an aging population, the great resignation, and demand for work-life balance has the forecast calling for a continued shortage of workers. At the same time IT companies are laying off workers, the Wall Street...

Japan Approves New Safeguard Triggers on U.S. Beef

Last week the Upper House of Japan’s Diet approved a new beef safeguard protocol which amends the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA). That is the final step of approval needed for the agreement and the two countries are finalizing the implementation procedures. The protocol was negotiated...

Transatlantic Crisis

The daily messaging from Europe is that it is in crisis, and not only does Washington not care, but it is also making things worse. Truthfully, the complaints are met with a smirk by those in U.S. agriculture. Brussels accuses Washington of distorting markets with its Inflation Reduction Act (I...

biofuel energy

American Petroleum Institute Backs Year-Round E15

The American Petroleum Institute (AP), the association of oil drilling, refining, and natural gas producing companies, joined this week in signing a letter to Congress backing a move to grant year-round use of E15. Other signatories to the letter included the Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), G...

Waste to Energy

It is said that the trade in agricultural products is the movement of water and energy. Plants are grown where there is water, and ultimately, they are composed of energy (calories) derived from the sun. The sun bombards the earth with 173,000 terawatts of power on a continuous basis. Humans us...

Senate Ag Committee Kicks Off with Rural Development and FTX Hearings

The Senate Agriculture Committee has scheduled hearings on the Rural Development and Energy titles of the farm bill as well as the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 (DCCPA), which got a lot hotter after the FTX collapse. While this is still the 117th Congress, the rural develo...

Poor Farm Bill Timing; Losing Confidence; Authoritarian Mexico

Poor Farm Bill Timing Activists are writing up their list of wants in the 2023 farm bill and it contains the usual demands to shift support to small farms, organic and local. They want diversified small farms selling directly to consumers, cutting out large farms and agribusiness. They want the...

Loss/Damage Splits Developing; G20 Equitable and Inclusive; Fast Tractor

Loss/Damage Splits Developing EU Executive Vice President for the Green Deal Frans Timmermans announced at the COP27 meeting that Europe could support contributions to a Loss and Damage fund to help developing countries with climate change, but only if China contributes. After all, China is the...

Pick Your Poison; Unusual Strategic Reserves

Pick Your Poison The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission called on Congress to reconsider whether China should be receiving permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status. MFN was granted in 1980 and PNTR was approved by Congress in 2001 – the latter subject to the President...

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