World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

biofuel

RINs Rumors and Fuel Use Outlook

Ethanol RINs dropped this week on news reports that EPA might consider lowering the 15 billion gallon required volume obligation (RVO) for 2022. This came after two months of steady increases based on a bright outlook for retail motor fuel use this year. Recall on 7 December, the Administration...

WFH Productivity; USMCA Rift

WFH Productivity There have been plenty of studies about the impacts on productivity of work from home (WFH) during COVID. They usually show mixed results depending on the work, the company and the employee’s personal situation. An informal look at the federal government during WFH has a...

Inflation Whiff; Indian Scraps; Capitol Coup

Inflation Whiff Kiev is not just battling a Russian-led insurrection in the Donbas but is also trying to fight food inflation, which hit 11.3 percent in 2021 and 13.3 percent in December alone. Its solution is price controls, limiting the margin earned on trading major food products to 10 perce...

What’s in a Name; Going Industrial; New Analytical Approach

What’s in a Name Proponents of geographic indicators in Europe are upset that DG-Agri may be planning to hand over more regulatory oversight of the GI scheme to the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). GIs already carry intellectual property protection, but some fear the EUIPO...

Trade Announcement on India and Pork Highlights What is Not Happening

Trade negotiations are a long, slow process, marked in many cases by small steps on the way to broader market access and more robust trade. A good reminder of that was the joint announcement by USDA and USTR yesterday that India has opened its market to U.S. pork.   According to a sta...

livestock

Fake Pork Trade; Humoring Russia

Fake Pork Trade USTR Katherine Tai announced that bilateral negotiations had resulted in India opening its market to imports of U.S. pork. This past year, Americans bought on average $21 apiece worth of food from India. By contrast, U.S. agricultural exports to India totaled the equivalent of $...

Beef with Oil; Carbon Trouble

Beef with Oil The Biden Administration dislikes the oil industry as much or more than Big Beef. After stating the goals of ending drilling on public lands, blocking some new pipelines and then watching fuel prices skyrocket, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain talked about banning oil and gas...

biofuel

EPA Renewable Fuels Coming Regulations and Canola Trade

On 7 December, EPA announced its proposed required volume obligations (RVO) rules which gained much attention. What gained less attention was the regulatory agenda related to renewable fuels that it also announced in December.   The 2023 RVO’s, proposed this spring, will be the...

A Different Kind of Inflation in 2021

The U.S. has not used the gold standard since 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act forced Americans to give up gold and convert their holdings to dollars. Since then, there have been “gold bugs” advocating for a return to the gold standard. Their argument? A gold standard prevents g...

Real Food Sovereignty; Obesity Solutions

Real Food Sovereignty Activists and their populist politicians in rich, developed countries have an answer for reforming agriculture – small farms using extensive practices such as fewer chemical inputs. Thus it is interesting to see the contrasting policy from Algeria which desperately w...

Mistakes on All Sides

Russian President Vladimir Putin complains that NATO is a threat to Russia and seeks a buffer to establish states but the nations he wants to isolate from the west are all more frightened of Russian authority. Russia is literally driving the buffer states to want to join NATO. Similarly, the mo...

Government Meat Plants; Brussels Effect; 2022 Drivers and Outcome

Government Meat Plants President Biden criticized the meat industry for what he termed “exploitation.” The term is a formal part of case law under antitrust and should have been the approach used by the Administration if that is what it believes. Instead, the White House has rejecte...

livestock

Biden’s Beef to Nowhere; Irrepressible COOL

Biden’s Beef to Nowhere In 2005, members of the Alaska Congressional delegation tried to add funding equivalent in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars to $566 million. The purpose of the money was to build a bridge to an island with just 50 full-time residents ($11.32 million/person)...

livestock

Biden Plan to Downsize “Big Meat”

The Biden Administration today held a roundtable to discuss the details of its Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. Snow in the DC area and Andrews Air Force Base delayed President Biden’s arrival – perhaps a metaphor for broa...

The State and Monopolies

The Biden Administration announced a $1 billion program to incentivize “independent processing capacity” in the meat industry. Noting the irony of U.S. policy concurrently criticizing state-driven enterprise in China, the major meat packers responded with some pointed questions: &bu...

GE Labeling; Skewed Meat View; Accurate Milk View

GE Labeling  Starting in 2022, the U.S. will have mandatory labeling of foods with detectable amounts of genetically modified content. WPI emphasizes what USDA itself said about the mandate when issuing the proposal back in 2018: "The proposed NBFDS [National Bioengineered Food Disclosure...

Russian Roulette

Market volatility has risen with Covid and its latest iteration Omicron but has thus far underplayed the current security risks playing out in Eastern Europe. Energy and grain markets will experience just as much if not more turmoil if things go badly in Ukraine. Presidents Putin and Biden are...

Farm Bill Negotiations to Start Soon

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia) has indicated that negotiations for the farm bill will start in the very early weeks of 2022. Climate and nutrition programs will be the cornerstone of Scott’s and the Democrat Majority’s draft, but with a tenuous politica...

Greed versus Apathy

President Biden and his economic team attacked the U.S. meat industry this year for being greedy. Meanwhile, he has politely asked the oil industry to please produce more product so that gasoline prices fall. Note that Tyson’s stock price versus a year ago is down 4.7 percent while Exxon...

Diabolical Plan; Trade in Cancer; Energy Reality

Diabolical Plan USTR issued a blistering report regarding Russia’s increasingly protectionist trade policy. It accused Moscow of employing localization measures to favor domestic products, using measures that are not science-based to block agricultural imports, and violating national trea...

soy-oilseeds

Which Way Chile; Green Excuse

Which Way Chile Analysts are pondering the future of Chile now that it has elected socialist Gabriel Boric as its next president. Boric campaigned to end neoliberal economic policies. Chile suffers from inequality but not as severe as the rest of Latin America. In fact, Chile leads the region i...

BBB Blowback; Shoot the Messenger; Silver Lining

BBB Blowback Although word yesterday that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s rejection of President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act appears to be local DC politics, it has international implications for U.S. agriculture. The bill was supposedly how the U.S. would meet the President&rsqu...

livestock

Meat Inflation: Income Elasticity Worked as Expected in 2021

Inflation is a hot topic lately; it is the reason why the Fed has signaled it will raise interest rates three times next year. Moreover, it is why Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), a key swing vote in the Senate, has come out against the Administration’s Build Back Better legislation...

Russian Ultimatum; Cynical Tax Break

Russian Ultimatum Russian President Vladmimir Putin just provoked the transatlantic strategy on managing his country’s possible aggression in Eastern Europe. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov delivered the message that NATO is to stay out of the former Soviet bloc countries and that...

biofuel

RINs Rumors and Fuel Use Outlook

Ethanol RINs dropped this week on news reports that EPA might consider lowering the 15 billion gallon required volume obligation (RVO) for 2022. This came after two months of steady increases based on a bright outlook for retail motor fuel use this year. Recall on 7 December, the Administration...

WFH Productivity; USMCA Rift

WFH Productivity There have been plenty of studies about the impacts on productivity of work from home (WFH) during COVID. They usually show mixed results depending on the work, the company and the employee’s personal situation. An informal look at the federal government during WFH has a...

Inflation Whiff; Indian Scraps; Capitol Coup

Inflation Whiff Kiev is not just battling a Russian-led insurrection in the Donbas but is also trying to fight food inflation, which hit 11.3 percent in 2021 and 13.3 percent in December alone. Its solution is price controls, limiting the margin earned on trading major food products to 10 perce...

What’s in a Name; Going Industrial; New Analytical Approach

What’s in a Name Proponents of geographic indicators in Europe are upset that DG-Agri may be planning to hand over more regulatory oversight of the GI scheme to the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). GIs already carry intellectual property protection, but some fear the EUIPO...

Trade Announcement on India and Pork Highlights What is Not Happening

Trade negotiations are a long, slow process, marked in many cases by small steps on the way to broader market access and more robust trade. A good reminder of that was the joint announcement by USDA and USTR yesterday that India has opened its market to U.S. pork.   According to a sta...

livestock

Fake Pork Trade; Humoring Russia

Fake Pork Trade USTR Katherine Tai announced that bilateral negotiations had resulted in India opening its market to imports of U.S. pork. This past year, Americans bought on average $21 apiece worth of food from India. By contrast, U.S. agricultural exports to India totaled the equivalent of $...

Beef with Oil; Carbon Trouble

Beef with Oil The Biden Administration dislikes the oil industry as much or more than Big Beef. After stating the goals of ending drilling on public lands, blocking some new pipelines and then watching fuel prices skyrocket, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain talked about banning oil and gas...

biofuel

EPA Renewable Fuels Coming Regulations and Canola Trade

On 7 December, EPA announced its proposed required volume obligations (RVO) rules which gained much attention. What gained less attention was the regulatory agenda related to renewable fuels that it also announced in December.   The 2023 RVO’s, proposed this spring, will be the...

A Different Kind of Inflation in 2021

The U.S. has not used the gold standard since 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act forced Americans to give up gold and convert their holdings to dollars. Since then, there have been “gold bugs” advocating for a return to the gold standard. Their argument? A gold standard prevents g...

Real Food Sovereignty; Obesity Solutions

Real Food Sovereignty Activists and their populist politicians in rich, developed countries have an answer for reforming agriculture – small farms using extensive practices such as fewer chemical inputs. Thus it is interesting to see the contrasting policy from Algeria which desperately w...

Mistakes on All Sides

Russian President Vladimir Putin complains that NATO is a threat to Russia and seeks a buffer to establish states but the nations he wants to isolate from the west are all more frightened of Russian authority. Russia is literally driving the buffer states to want to join NATO. Similarly, the mo...

Government Meat Plants; Brussels Effect; 2022 Drivers and Outcome

Government Meat Plants President Biden criticized the meat industry for what he termed “exploitation.” The term is a formal part of case law under antitrust and should have been the approach used by the Administration if that is what it believes. Instead, the White House has rejecte...

livestock

Biden’s Beef to Nowhere; Irrepressible COOL

Biden’s Beef to Nowhere In 2005, members of the Alaska Congressional delegation tried to add funding equivalent in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars to $566 million. The purpose of the money was to build a bridge to an island with just 50 full-time residents ($11.32 million/person)...

livestock

Biden Plan to Downsize “Big Meat”

The Biden Administration today held a roundtable to discuss the details of its Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. Snow in the DC area and Andrews Air Force Base delayed President Biden’s arrival – perhaps a metaphor for broa...

The State and Monopolies

The Biden Administration announced a $1 billion program to incentivize “independent processing capacity” in the meat industry. Noting the irony of U.S. policy concurrently criticizing state-driven enterprise in China, the major meat packers responded with some pointed questions: &bu...

GE Labeling; Skewed Meat View; Accurate Milk View

GE Labeling  Starting in 2022, the U.S. will have mandatory labeling of foods with detectable amounts of genetically modified content. WPI emphasizes what USDA itself said about the mandate when issuing the proposal back in 2018: "The proposed NBFDS [National Bioengineered Food Disclosure...

Russian Roulette

Market volatility has risen with Covid and its latest iteration Omicron but has thus far underplayed the current security risks playing out in Eastern Europe. Energy and grain markets will experience just as much if not more turmoil if things go badly in Ukraine. Presidents Putin and Biden are...

Farm Bill Negotiations to Start Soon

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia) has indicated that negotiations for the farm bill will start in the very early weeks of 2022. Climate and nutrition programs will be the cornerstone of Scott’s and the Democrat Majority’s draft, but with a tenuous politica...

Greed versus Apathy

President Biden and his economic team attacked the U.S. meat industry this year for being greedy. Meanwhile, he has politely asked the oil industry to please produce more product so that gasoline prices fall. Note that Tyson’s stock price versus a year ago is down 4.7 percent while Exxon...

Diabolical Plan; Trade in Cancer; Energy Reality

Diabolical Plan USTR issued a blistering report regarding Russia’s increasingly protectionist trade policy. It accused Moscow of employing localization measures to favor domestic products, using measures that are not science-based to block agricultural imports, and violating national trea...

soy-oilseeds

Which Way Chile; Green Excuse

Which Way Chile Analysts are pondering the future of Chile now that it has elected socialist Gabriel Boric as its next president. Boric campaigned to end neoliberal economic policies. Chile suffers from inequality but not as severe as the rest of Latin America. In fact, Chile leads the region i...

BBB Blowback; Shoot the Messenger; Silver Lining

BBB Blowback Although word yesterday that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s rejection of President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act appears to be local DC politics, it has international implications for U.S. agriculture. The bill was supposedly how the U.S. would meet the President&rsqu...

livestock

Meat Inflation: Income Elasticity Worked as Expected in 2021

Inflation is a hot topic lately; it is the reason why the Fed has signaled it will raise interest rates three times next year. Moreover, it is why Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), a key swing vote in the Senate, has come out against the Administration’s Build Back Better legislation...

Russian Ultimatum; Cynical Tax Break

Russian Ultimatum Russian President Vladmimir Putin just provoked the transatlantic strategy on managing his country’s possible aggression in Eastern Europe. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov delivered the message that NATO is to stay out of the former Soviet bloc countries and that...

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