World Perspectives

Recent Policy Analysis

ICT’s Importance; Future U.S. and EU Agriculture; LEADS Act

ICT’s Importance A decline in the growth rate of total factor productivity is common in mature economies even as government policies seek to accelerate it as a means of increasing wealth. The EU is seeking to tax America’s information and communications technology (ICT) companies wh...

Post-November Economy; Disparate Fears

Post-November Economy Fiscal recklessness has its limit, and this will come home to roost. Having already borrowed and spent $3 trillion to revive the COVID-coma economy, Congressional Democrats want to spend another $2.2 trillion subsidizing states and cities, and Democratic presidential candi...

Previous Status Quo; Helping or Hurting; Regulatory Cycle

Previous Status Quo EU Director General for Trade Sabine Weyland says bilateral relations with the U.S. need to be improved, but not through more liberalized trade. She called for settling the current bilateral disputes like Airbus/Boeing, plus working together on WTO reforms and China. That ma...

Economy Entering an Inflationary Period

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is meeting today and tomorrow, where it will revise its latest economic forecasts for the year and release its plan for short term interest rates.  At the June meeting of the Fed, the median forecast among the 17 Fed policymakers was that inflation...

Revolutionizing EU Agriculture; Squander Leverage/Solicit Good Will

Revolutionizing EU Agriculture The European Public Heath Alliance says agricultural support and promotion should end its focus on competitiveness and instead align with the health and sustainability goals of the Farm to Fork and European Green Deal initiatives. If adopted, this will upset the e...

Partisan Perspective on Farm Payments

It’s 50 days until the 2020 election. USDA is expected to announce the terms of the second round of CFAP payments this week and the Senate Democrats today released a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about the disparity in the MFP payments. As we reported back in Febr...

Branstad Departs; Speculatively Correct; Bullish Tractors

Branstad Departs Former Iowa governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad is departing his post in Beijing. Some call it a perilous time to leave given souring bilateral relations, others say it is only because he needs to campaign for Mr. Trump’s re-election. Alternatively, U.S.-...

biofuel livestock

SREs; WASDE Livestock; COVID Politics

Reports leaked out of the Administration this week that President Trump has directed EPA to deny all of the so-called gap year small refinery exemption petitions. As we reported previously, the Department of Energy (DOE) has made recommendations on the 58 gap year petitions that were received e...

Tough Time for WTO; Dems’ Rural Strategy

Tough Time for WTO Robert Zoellick was U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) before he ran the World Bank and he knows a thing or two about politics and Washington. Those in Geneva should take notice when he warns that a Biden administration will not place much emphasis on fixing the WTO. It will be...

Transatlantic Protectionism III; Data Wars; Currency Wars

Transatlantic Protectionism III The EU issued its “Strategic Foresight” report and it lays the groundwork for potentially more protectionism. It declares Europe’s “economic sovereignty is at stake” due to imports from non-EU countries. It calls for new tools to pre...

Vertical Energy; Good News

Vertical Energy Temasek Holdings and Bayer announced an investment in vertical agriculture in Singapore. It should be noted that their focus is on producing and marketing seeds and not actual production. Vertical agriculture promises an escape from the variable of weather, but the addition of t...

Faded Green Wave; Better Answer than Decoupling

Faded Green Wave While politicians on both sides of the Atlantic boast of bold plans for environmental protection, executing their initiatives is proving more difficult. A desired ban on neonicotinoid use in Europe is proving difficult where the rubber meets the road on the farm. Biotechnology...

2020 Election and the Next Farm Bill

There are 56 days until the 2020 elections. In addition to the Presidential election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for consideration, and 33 Senate seats plus one special election in Georgia. (Due to the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson, both of Georgia’s Sena...

biofuel

The Political/Economic Situation at Labor Day

Monday is the U.S. Labor Day holiday – it marks several things, including the nominal end of summer. With the end of summer comes a drop in gasoline demand (read ethanol) as vacation travel ends. There will be a temporary increase in meat demand for holiday barbecues, but then a seasonal...

R Realignment with Labor; Eat Mor Chiken

R Realignment with Labor Organized labor has historically aligned with the Democratic Party while Republicans were associated with management. Donald Trump changed that formula in 2016 when he opposed trade agreements and argued on behalf of workers. Union leaders still backed the Democrat for...

Poor Advice for the Poor; Communism Kills COVID

Poor Advice for the Poor Former South African trade minister Rob Davies had some advice for developing countries that reflects the WTO’s leaderless, rudderless future. While correctly attacking the nativist policy of the Trump Administration, Davies doubled down on the nativist trade poli...

Responding to Trump Protectionism; Scary Sounding Protections

Responding to Trump Protectionism European farm ministers answered Donald Trump’s “protectionism” with, well more protectionism. German Farm Minister Julia Klöckner summarized the ministers CAP reform discussions this week by saying, “We need greater European autono...

China Acquiescence; Selective Analysis

China Acquiescence Jeffrey Gerrish, the former deputy USTR for the Trump Administration is now back at his old law firm Skadden Arps and has little reason to carry water for his former employer. Therefore, it is with some greater credibility when he says most of the technical level issues prese...

biofuel energy

Brazil Punts on Ethanol TRQ

Reports from Brazil indicate that the government is leaning toward extending the TRQ for U.S. ethanol imports for 90 days (the TRQ expired yesterday). There has been no official action yet.   The expected extension is considered a compromise solution from President Bolsonaro. It would...

Demanding Food Shortages

As Europe transitions to a low carbon economy amid COVID-related disruptions, there are rising concerns about developing shortages of basic materials. The same could happen to food if activists get their way in rewriting the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). While U.S. presidential contenders D...

Aid and Trade in the COVID Election Season

Initial unemployment claims topped 1 million for the second week in a row after previously declining below that psychological line. Total initial claims were 1,006,000, which was still almost 9 percent lower than the week before but not as good as had been hoped for a couple of weeks ago. This...

How Will You Spend Your CFAP Payment?

USDA sent a reminder out to growers and producers today that there are two weeks left to apply for CFAP payments. As of Monday 24 August, there have been 557,592 approved applications and $9.222 billion dispersed from the $16 billion budget. But also this week, USDA Secretary Perdue indicated t...

Another Leader Down; Tipping Past Taipei; Energy Disruption

Another Leader Down The announcement that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzö Abe will resign to focus on a chronic health issue was a shock and could be disruptive. Abe ended Japan’s previous run of frequent turnover at the top and became the longest serving leader in history. His abilit...

Glyphosate on Steroids; Exceptional Food; In the Year 2525

Glyphosate on Steroids It only takes emotive-based fear to elicit demands for glyphosate to be banned so at least there is a fact-based rationale for COVID-19 restrictions. EU Trade Minister Phil Hogan tried to ride out criticism of his attendance at a golf club dinner but in the end, Brussels...

ICT’s Importance; Future U.S. and EU Agriculture; LEADS Act

ICT’s Importance A decline in the growth rate of total factor productivity is common in mature economies even as government policies seek to accelerate it as a means of increasing wealth. The EU is seeking to tax America’s information and communications technology (ICT) companies wh...

Post-November Economy; Disparate Fears

Post-November Economy Fiscal recklessness has its limit, and this will come home to roost. Having already borrowed and spent $3 trillion to revive the COVID-coma economy, Congressional Democrats want to spend another $2.2 trillion subsidizing states and cities, and Democratic presidential candi...

Previous Status Quo; Helping or Hurting; Regulatory Cycle

Previous Status Quo EU Director General for Trade Sabine Weyland says bilateral relations with the U.S. need to be improved, but not through more liberalized trade. She called for settling the current bilateral disputes like Airbus/Boeing, plus working together on WTO reforms and China. That ma...

Economy Entering an Inflationary Period

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is meeting today and tomorrow, where it will revise its latest economic forecasts for the year and release its plan for short term interest rates.  At the June meeting of the Fed, the median forecast among the 17 Fed policymakers was that inflation...

Revolutionizing EU Agriculture; Squander Leverage/Solicit Good Will

Revolutionizing EU Agriculture The European Public Heath Alliance says agricultural support and promotion should end its focus on competitiveness and instead align with the health and sustainability goals of the Farm to Fork and European Green Deal initiatives. If adopted, this will upset the e...

Partisan Perspective on Farm Payments

It’s 50 days until the 2020 election. USDA is expected to announce the terms of the second round of CFAP payments this week and the Senate Democrats today released a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about the disparity in the MFP payments. As we reported back in Febr...

Branstad Departs; Speculatively Correct; Bullish Tractors

Branstad Departs Former Iowa governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad is departing his post in Beijing. Some call it a perilous time to leave given souring bilateral relations, others say it is only because he needs to campaign for Mr. Trump’s re-election. Alternatively, U.S.-...

biofuel livestock

SREs; WASDE Livestock; COVID Politics

Reports leaked out of the Administration this week that President Trump has directed EPA to deny all of the so-called gap year small refinery exemption petitions. As we reported previously, the Department of Energy (DOE) has made recommendations on the 58 gap year petitions that were received e...

Tough Time for WTO; Dems’ Rural Strategy

Tough Time for WTO Robert Zoellick was U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) before he ran the World Bank and he knows a thing or two about politics and Washington. Those in Geneva should take notice when he warns that a Biden administration will not place much emphasis on fixing the WTO. It will be...

Transatlantic Protectionism III; Data Wars; Currency Wars

Transatlantic Protectionism III The EU issued its “Strategic Foresight” report and it lays the groundwork for potentially more protectionism. It declares Europe’s “economic sovereignty is at stake” due to imports from non-EU countries. It calls for new tools to pre...

Vertical Energy; Good News

Vertical Energy Temasek Holdings and Bayer announced an investment in vertical agriculture in Singapore. It should be noted that their focus is on producing and marketing seeds and not actual production. Vertical agriculture promises an escape from the variable of weather, but the addition of t...

Faded Green Wave; Better Answer than Decoupling

Faded Green Wave While politicians on both sides of the Atlantic boast of bold plans for environmental protection, executing their initiatives is proving more difficult. A desired ban on neonicotinoid use in Europe is proving difficult where the rubber meets the road on the farm. Biotechnology...

2020 Election and the Next Farm Bill

There are 56 days until the 2020 elections. In addition to the Presidential election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for consideration, and 33 Senate seats plus one special election in Georgia. (Due to the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson, both of Georgia’s Sena...

biofuel

The Political/Economic Situation at Labor Day

Monday is the U.S. Labor Day holiday – it marks several things, including the nominal end of summer. With the end of summer comes a drop in gasoline demand (read ethanol) as vacation travel ends. There will be a temporary increase in meat demand for holiday barbecues, but then a seasonal...

R Realignment with Labor; Eat Mor Chiken

R Realignment with Labor Organized labor has historically aligned with the Democratic Party while Republicans were associated with management. Donald Trump changed that formula in 2016 when he opposed trade agreements and argued on behalf of workers. Union leaders still backed the Democrat for...

Poor Advice for the Poor; Communism Kills COVID

Poor Advice for the Poor Former South African trade minister Rob Davies had some advice for developing countries that reflects the WTO’s leaderless, rudderless future. While correctly attacking the nativist policy of the Trump Administration, Davies doubled down on the nativist trade poli...

Responding to Trump Protectionism; Scary Sounding Protections

Responding to Trump Protectionism European farm ministers answered Donald Trump’s “protectionism” with, well more protectionism. German Farm Minister Julia Klöckner summarized the ministers CAP reform discussions this week by saying, “We need greater European autono...

China Acquiescence; Selective Analysis

China Acquiescence Jeffrey Gerrish, the former deputy USTR for the Trump Administration is now back at his old law firm Skadden Arps and has little reason to carry water for his former employer. Therefore, it is with some greater credibility when he says most of the technical level issues prese...

biofuel energy

Brazil Punts on Ethanol TRQ

Reports from Brazil indicate that the government is leaning toward extending the TRQ for U.S. ethanol imports for 90 days (the TRQ expired yesterday). There has been no official action yet.   The expected extension is considered a compromise solution from President Bolsonaro. It would...

Demanding Food Shortages

As Europe transitions to a low carbon economy amid COVID-related disruptions, there are rising concerns about developing shortages of basic materials. The same could happen to food if activists get their way in rewriting the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). While U.S. presidential contenders D...

Aid and Trade in the COVID Election Season

Initial unemployment claims topped 1 million for the second week in a row after previously declining below that psychological line. Total initial claims were 1,006,000, which was still almost 9 percent lower than the week before but not as good as had been hoped for a couple of weeks ago. This...

How Will You Spend Your CFAP Payment?

USDA sent a reminder out to growers and producers today that there are two weeks left to apply for CFAP payments. As of Monday 24 August, there have been 557,592 approved applications and $9.222 billion dispersed from the $16 billion budget. But also this week, USDA Secretary Perdue indicated t...

Another Leader Down; Tipping Past Taipei; Energy Disruption

Another Leader Down The announcement that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzö Abe will resign to focus on a chronic health issue was a shock and could be disruptive. Abe ended Japan’s previous run of frequent turnover at the top and became the longest serving leader in history. His abilit...

Glyphosate on Steroids; Exceptional Food; In the Year 2525

Glyphosate on Steroids It only takes emotive-based fear to elicit demands for glyphosate to be banned so at least there is a fact-based rationale for COVID-19 restrictions. EU Trade Minister Phil Hogan tried to ride out criticism of his attendance at a golf club dinner but in the end, Brussels...

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