World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

Turnaround 2020

The actual agricultural purchases to be made by China next year remains unclear with officials in Beijing failing to confirm President Trump’s boast about huge purchases. There is a press account citing an unnamed Chinese official oddly saying that there will be more imports of American w...

Final Hours of Policy Flurry and Fury

Congress is hitting the home stretch and policy making is at a frenzied paced. Following is a recap and some thoughts on implications. At this point, there are few details available as there are many moving parts. It will be a long weekend for policymakers and their staffs, and many long hours...

U.S. – China Outlook

There were positive signals today that the U.S. and China will reach some form of a phase one agreement and that tariffs will be reduced instead of increased. The deal may not be achieved until late this month, but it will undermine those arguing for American deglobalization. So-called protecti...

100 Years Trade War; Chemical Trade War

100 Years Trade War The trade war between the U.S. and China may or may not be getting a temporary reprieve late this week but the transatlantic war is about to heat up. The EU is trying to develop with other countries an arbitration approach to replace the WTO Appellate Body (AB) now defunct d...

Subsidies Beget Subsidies; Ag Power in Immigration

Subsidies Beget Subsidies One place where both Washington and Brussels are in agreement is on the distorting impacts of China’s centrally planned economy. And yet, no government is immune from the practice of trying to promote winners within an economy. The agriculture sector is a prime e...

livestock

Kazakhstan: The Next Cattle Ranching Frontier?

While most of the trade news today is focused on the USMCA, there’s another tidbit that shows the increasing influence of the east on the future of beef demand. Situated between Russia and China, and across the Caspian Sea from the Middle East, Kazakhstan has been generating a lot of atte...

USMCA Deal; WTO AB Expiration; Finnish Outreach; Leftist Agriculture Minister

USMCA Deal Indications are that the needle has been threaded in terms of changes demanded to USMCA by Congressional Democrats and found acceptable by Mexico. Perhaps key is a quote from American organized labor leader Richard Trumka who boasted, “We have pushed them hard and have done qui...

2018 Farm Bill CRP Expansion Underway

USDA is starting today the sign-up for enrollment of land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) under the 2018 farm bill. Sign-up will continue through the end of February 2020. This will be the first general sign-up in three years and USDA, according to Secretary Perdue, is “hoping t...

Impeachment Progressing, Slowing Other Action

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) directed Congressional Committee chairmen yesterday to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. A vote on impeachment could come before the end of the year and the proceedings continue to suck energy and momentum out of other key...

¡Aguas! USMCA; All I Want for Christmas

¡Aguas! USMCA The Mexicans are becoming frustrated with the varying demands from Washington for changes to the USMCA before Congressional Democrats will move the agreement forward. Some are aggressive, such as American inspections of Mexican plants and rejecting products at the border. So...

Unrealistic FTA; Rural Broadband

Unrealistic FTA Swiss Ambassador to the U.S. Jacques Pitteloud encouraged a Washington audience this week to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement with his country. He contended that Switzerland has adjusted its agricultural policies to make liberalization easier, and that even a limited deal...

Digital Retaliation; Principio de Precaución

Digital Retaliation The creative crafting of a tax specifically designed to punish foreign-based companies such as France’s new digital tax is a potential slippery slope in international economic warfare. It entails adding domestic tax regimes to the traditional tools of tariffs, subsidie...

Global Trade Debacle; Missing Component

Global Trade Debacle The global trading environment has returned this week to a negative trend where policies are likely to get worse long before they get better. President Trump grabs headlines with his negative view toward resolving disputes with China until after next year’s U.S. presi...

biofuel

Do Oil and Ethanol Finally Agree on Something?

For the past 2 years the ethanol industry has hounded EPA about its use of small refinery exemptions (SREs), calling the increase in exempted volumes in recent years illegal.  Apparently, the American Petroleum Institute (API) agrees. In comments filedlate last week on EPA’s proposed...

EU Collision Course; WTO Developments

EU Collision Course EU environmental policy is on a collision course with agriculture and European farmers have begun to respond. Last week they held large protests in Berlin, Paris and in Vilnius. They are reportedly mad about plans to prohibit pesticides like glyphosate, vegan complaints abou...

biofuel energy

Energy and Ethanol Outlook

Energy markets mostly bounced back today after a Black Friday shortened trading session where energy futures dipped across the board. On Friday, crude oil was down about $3.00 per barrel, gasoline down more than $0.08 per gallon and diesel about $0.07 per gallon. Ethanol followed, with the Janu...

farm-inputs

Green on Black Equals Red; Fake Honey

Green Impact on Black Equals Red Activists in Europe are protesting against today’s “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza. They argue that the environmental externalities of consumerism will destroy the planet. This begs the question of whether commercial minimalism will destro...

Hemp: Racing to the Bottom

Rarely has a new commodity provided such interest and optimism as hemp, but as the regulatory framework slowly catches up to the market’s hopefulness, things are turning bearish for the whole sector.   According to the Group Vote Hemp, in 2017, there were about 25,713 acres of h...

USMCA Reckoning; Make My Brown Eyes Green; Not Such Free Traders

USMCA Reckoning USTR Robert Lighthizer and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts are meeting today to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Lighthizer will likely give a brief on the final demands by Democrats before allowing Congressional consideration of the trade pact. Key will be the la...

biofuel

More Cars Approved for E15, but Trend is Toward Fewer Cars

E15-approved vehicles are increasing, while E15-capable flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) are decreasing according to a recent study by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).  According to RFA’s survey of manufacturers’ owners’ manuals for automakers responsible for 95 percent of...

China Realism; Irrepressible on S&DT; Interventions/December Outlook

China Realism The markets are justifiably tuning out all the headlines over U.S. – China trade negotiations. Craig Allen, President of the U.S. China Business Council warns that agriculture will continue to get hurt in the escalating competition with China. He says Xi Jinping does not tru...

WIC to SNAP Lessons; Cheese Mountains; Spillover Subsidies

WIC to SNAP Lessons According to data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, obesity amongst 2-4-year old’s dropped significantly following USDA changes in the types of food and beverages subsidized under the Suppleme...

Awkwardness on Hong Kong; Gottlieb’s Successor

Awkwardness on Hong Kong President Trump says he will sign or veto legislation (the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act) approved near unanimously by the Congress depending on whether China completes a phase one trade deal with him. There are several awkward aspects to his position includi...

biofuel soy-oilseeds feed-grains

Policy Round Up

India Trade The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is reporting that progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. and details could be forthcoming within a couple of weeks.   In fact, India is stepping up their trade agenda across the board. India moved this week on a tra...

Turnaround 2020

The actual agricultural purchases to be made by China next year remains unclear with officials in Beijing failing to confirm President Trump’s boast about huge purchases. There is a press account citing an unnamed Chinese official oddly saying that there will be more imports of American w...

Final Hours of Policy Flurry and Fury

Congress is hitting the home stretch and policy making is at a frenzied paced. Following is a recap and some thoughts on implications. At this point, there are few details available as there are many moving parts. It will be a long weekend for policymakers and their staffs, and many long hours...

U.S. – China Outlook

There were positive signals today that the U.S. and China will reach some form of a phase one agreement and that tariffs will be reduced instead of increased. The deal may not be achieved until late this month, but it will undermine those arguing for American deglobalization. So-called protecti...

100 Years Trade War; Chemical Trade War

100 Years Trade War The trade war between the U.S. and China may or may not be getting a temporary reprieve late this week but the transatlantic war is about to heat up. The EU is trying to develop with other countries an arbitration approach to replace the WTO Appellate Body (AB) now defunct d...

Subsidies Beget Subsidies; Ag Power in Immigration

Subsidies Beget Subsidies One place where both Washington and Brussels are in agreement is on the distorting impacts of China’s centrally planned economy. And yet, no government is immune from the practice of trying to promote winners within an economy. The agriculture sector is a prime e...

livestock

Kazakhstan: The Next Cattle Ranching Frontier?

While most of the trade news today is focused on the USMCA, there’s another tidbit that shows the increasing influence of the east on the future of beef demand. Situated between Russia and China, and across the Caspian Sea from the Middle East, Kazakhstan has been generating a lot of atte...

USMCA Deal; WTO AB Expiration; Finnish Outreach; Leftist Agriculture Minister

USMCA Deal Indications are that the needle has been threaded in terms of changes demanded to USMCA by Congressional Democrats and found acceptable by Mexico. Perhaps key is a quote from American organized labor leader Richard Trumka who boasted, “We have pushed them hard and have done qui...

2018 Farm Bill CRP Expansion Underway

USDA is starting today the sign-up for enrollment of land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) under the 2018 farm bill. Sign-up will continue through the end of February 2020. This will be the first general sign-up in three years and USDA, according to Secretary Perdue, is “hoping t...

Impeachment Progressing, Slowing Other Action

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) directed Congressional Committee chairmen yesterday to begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. A vote on impeachment could come before the end of the year and the proceedings continue to suck energy and momentum out of other key...

¡Aguas! USMCA; All I Want for Christmas

¡Aguas! USMCA The Mexicans are becoming frustrated with the varying demands from Washington for changes to the USMCA before Congressional Democrats will move the agreement forward. Some are aggressive, such as American inspections of Mexican plants and rejecting products at the border. So...

Unrealistic FTA; Rural Broadband

Unrealistic FTA Swiss Ambassador to the U.S. Jacques Pitteloud encouraged a Washington audience this week to pursue a bilateral free trade agreement with his country. He contended that Switzerland has adjusted its agricultural policies to make liberalization easier, and that even a limited deal...

Digital Retaliation; Principio de Precaución

Digital Retaliation The creative crafting of a tax specifically designed to punish foreign-based companies such as France’s new digital tax is a potential slippery slope in international economic warfare. It entails adding domestic tax regimes to the traditional tools of tariffs, subsidie...

Global Trade Debacle; Missing Component

Global Trade Debacle The global trading environment has returned this week to a negative trend where policies are likely to get worse long before they get better. President Trump grabs headlines with his negative view toward resolving disputes with China until after next year’s U.S. presi...

biofuel

Do Oil and Ethanol Finally Agree on Something?

For the past 2 years the ethanol industry has hounded EPA about its use of small refinery exemptions (SREs), calling the increase in exempted volumes in recent years illegal.  Apparently, the American Petroleum Institute (API) agrees. In comments filedlate last week on EPA’s proposed...

EU Collision Course; WTO Developments

EU Collision Course EU environmental policy is on a collision course with agriculture and European farmers have begun to respond. Last week they held large protests in Berlin, Paris and in Vilnius. They are reportedly mad about plans to prohibit pesticides like glyphosate, vegan complaints abou...

biofuel energy

Energy and Ethanol Outlook

Energy markets mostly bounced back today after a Black Friday shortened trading session where energy futures dipped across the board. On Friday, crude oil was down about $3.00 per barrel, gasoline down more than $0.08 per gallon and diesel about $0.07 per gallon. Ethanol followed, with the Janu...

farm-inputs

Green on Black Equals Red; Fake Honey

Green Impact on Black Equals Red Activists in Europe are protesting against today’s “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza. They argue that the environmental externalities of consumerism will destroy the planet. This begs the question of whether commercial minimalism will destro...

Hemp: Racing to the Bottom

Rarely has a new commodity provided such interest and optimism as hemp, but as the regulatory framework slowly catches up to the market’s hopefulness, things are turning bearish for the whole sector.   According to the Group Vote Hemp, in 2017, there were about 25,713 acres of h...

USMCA Reckoning; Make My Brown Eyes Green; Not Such Free Traders

USMCA Reckoning USTR Robert Lighthizer and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts are meeting today to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Lighthizer will likely give a brief on the final demands by Democrats before allowing Congressional consideration of the trade pact. Key will be the la...

biofuel

More Cars Approved for E15, but Trend is Toward Fewer Cars

E15-approved vehicles are increasing, while E15-capable flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) are decreasing according to a recent study by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).  According to RFA’s survey of manufacturers’ owners’ manuals for automakers responsible for 95 percent of...

China Realism; Irrepressible on S&DT; Interventions/December Outlook

China Realism The markets are justifiably tuning out all the headlines over U.S. – China trade negotiations. Craig Allen, President of the U.S. China Business Council warns that agriculture will continue to get hurt in the escalating competition with China. He says Xi Jinping does not tru...

WIC to SNAP Lessons; Cheese Mountains; Spillover Subsidies

WIC to SNAP Lessons According to data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, obesity amongst 2-4-year old’s dropped significantly following USDA changes in the types of food and beverages subsidized under the Suppleme...

Awkwardness on Hong Kong; Gottlieb’s Successor

Awkwardness on Hong Kong President Trump says he will sign or veto legislation (the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act) approved near unanimously by the Congress depending on whether China completes a phase one trade deal with him. There are several awkward aspects to his position includi...

biofuel soy-oilseeds feed-grains

Policy Round Up

India Trade The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is reporting that progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. and details could be forthcoming within a couple of weeks.   In fact, India is stepping up their trade agenda across the board. India moved this week on a tra...

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