Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse Communications
Almost every day, another major food company or agribusiness sends me their plans to be eco-friendlier, carbon-neutral, sustainable or regenerative. Clearly, there's a strong movement to mesh business and environmental goals and perhaps, build public support along the way.
In the early 1990s, I received an unusual fax late at night. I realize I'm showing my age here because who sends a fax anymore? But that was during the early years of electronic messaging and mine came with no name or identifying phone number. Regardless, the sender started me on a journey that I have continued to pursue since that time.
White House officials are telling the U.S. ag sector that they are going to win big in the miniature trade pact announced Aug. 25 after presidents Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe met on the sidelines of the annual G7 summit, but many details haven't yet been nailed down, government and industry sources tell Agri-Pulse. America's farmers are going to be "very happy" with the deal, which will contain tariff cuts that resemble the increased access to Japan's market in the former Trans-Pacific Partnership, one government official said.
President Donald Trump tweets so frequently that he often dominates the daily news cycle in ways that can make even the most astute observer wonder what he's up to. But there's one area where he's been focused on creating a legacy that could have impact for years to come: Selecting new, more conservative judges for federal courts. "People have no idea how quickly he's managed to change the judiciary," says Michael Formica, Assistant Vice President, Domestic Affairs & Counsel for the National Pork Producers Council.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently returned from negotiations in Shanghai and they are expected to resume formal in-person conversations with their Chinese counterparts in September. But increasingly, the trade war with China looks likely to drag on for several more months and potentially until 2021. Goldman Sachs Group Inc said recently that its economists expect the ongoing trade war to lead to a U.S. recession and a resolution will not likely be reached before the 2020 elections.
Over the last few decades as a reporter, I've learned that most farmers love to get a good price from the marketplace, rather than a good check from the federal government. But what's a person to do when export markets are being shut down as a result of tariffs and an ongoing trade war with China and other trading partners? Hope the government props up your revenues.
The rural vote that was key to electing President Donald Trump in 2016 has focused a spotlight on rural America. Welcoming this new attention, academic researchers are zeroing in on identifying the best ways to revitalize the rural economy and dampen rural discontent. presidential candidates are also joining the fold. "There's a reason rural people have felt forgotten and disadvantaged by federal decision makers. It is because they are. There is no question about that," Chuck Fluharty, founder and president emeritus of the Rural Policy Research Institute tells Agri-Pulse.
While the immediate ratification of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is widely supported by the U.S. ag sector as another way to expand exports, many lawmakers, union leaders, auto sector workers, machinists and others still feel stung by the previous agreement between the U.S. Mexico and Canada. As a result, it could be a long hot summer of debate before the U.S. Congress will consider the new trade pact. Many fear that approval may be delayed until the end of the year.
The U.S. has agreed to lift its steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, removing major obstacles for ratification of the renegotiated North American free trade pact by all three countries. But gaining congressional approval could still be a heavy lift.
Many of you think it's planting season, but in the world of politics, it's presidential campaign season. That means you're going to start hearing a lot more about how President Donald Trump and a field of more than 20 Democrats plan to make life better for those of you who farm and live in rural America.