Current Week

This and That

July 20, 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I will talk about a list of hot button issues today.

First, how can the liberals justify their lawsuit to block President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity? Don’t we need to know about the level of voter fraud that we have in this country? What are they afraid of? How many people are voting more than once? How many non-citizens are voting? How many dead people are voting? “Vote early and vote often.” If we have a problem, we should clean it up. The Left is terrified. They might lose some votes.

Next issue – Horse slaughter. For the last several years, the U.S. Congress has closed the door on horse slaughter and horse meat processing in the U.S. Unwanted horses have had to be shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. That can be a long trip. Some horses don’t get to make that trip. They just get shot and buried in the South Forty. We have some good news. The House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment to keep the slaughter ban in place – a very close vote (25-27). This may not be the end of the slaughter ban. The full House or Senate could still bring the ban back. Fingers crossed. There is a good market for horse meat in Europe and even Japan.

Turn to Europe. Is Europe ready to do some serious reform of their farm programs? They say they are. The European Union spends 40% of their budget on ag subsidies. Developing countries complain that they cannot compete with that. This is funny. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said, “The European Union pays enough subsidies to fly each cow in Europe around the world first class and still have money left.”

The U.S. and Korea are set to open talks to discuss ways to improve the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Agreement. We have a $27.6 billion trade deficit with Korea. However, ag trade with Korea is doing just fine. Our beef farmers are delighted. We shipped $1.1 billion worth of beef last year, which is double what we shipped before the Trade Agreement took effect. Korea is our number 2 beef export market in the world.

We are renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Look to the other side of the world and China has a $250 billion trade surplus with the U.S. There is so much riding on all the trade disputes and negotiations. Generally, the U.S. runs a huge overall trade deficit. But our agriculture runs a significant trade surplus. Our U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer has promised U.S. farmers “to do no harm” in the negotiations.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to http://www.johnblockreports.com Have .a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.

Previous Weeks

Forest Fires

July 13 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and Crop Life America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

There aren’t any forest fires here in the east near Washington, D.C. No raging fires near our farm in Illinois. But the front pages of the Washington Post and the Washington Times both tell us the west is…

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Donald Trump

July 6 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Today, I’m going to talk about President Donald Trump – policies, issues, tweets and all. Yes, I think he tweets too much or, at least, he should limit his tweets to policies and avoid personal attacks. I…

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Ag Issues 2017

June 28 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted the announcement of this year’s World Food Prize Foundation laureate. At one time, he was the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and now runs the African…

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This and That 2017

June 22 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Tip of the day— “Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.” “One in five adults don’t know that hamburgers are beef.” We have a major education…

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Government Overreach

June 15 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I talked this week with John Duarte, a California farmer. He is in trouble. He bought 450 acres in 2012. He plowed it and planted it to wheat. He now faces $2.8 million in civil penalties because he did not…

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Trade and Climate Change

June 8 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Two subjects today – It is time to renegotiate NAFTA, but we don’t want to get into a fight that could cost agriculture. Mexico does not have any tariffs on our farm exports. Mexico spends $19 billion on…

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Branstad and Horses

June 1 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I have two subjects to cover today. One that is very hopeful – Governor Terry Branstad, now Ambassador Terry Branstad, is headed to China. The other issue, which is not very hopeful, has to do with horses.

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Budget

May 25 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Back in March, President Trump gave us a look at his budget plan. Although without much detail, it made clear to us that one of his highest priorities was to downsize the federal government. And, he would do…

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Two Issues

May 18 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

“Trump’s Tax Plan Would Spur Growth” – that is the headline in a recent Wall Street Journal paper. First, let me say that President Trump’s tax reform plan is not very specific. I think that is good.…

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GE Science

May 11 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association and CropLife America. They are friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I am encouraged. I think that we have some pretty strong voices in the Trump Administration speaking out in support of agriculture. Our strongest voice comes from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. He said…

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