Current Week

This and That

August 13, 2020

August 13, 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

There are a lot of balls in the air. I will try to deal with a few select ones today. I’ll start with aluminum tariffs – President Trump re-imposed a 10% “national security” tariff on imports of aluminum from Canada. Was that justified? I have my doubts. We just got the USMCA trade agreement approved and in place. Now Canada will retaliate with tariffs on some of our products – including washing machines, golf clubs etc. We have enough problems without creating another one.

Next – the COVID-19 aid fight. We don’t know where this is going. Negotiations have
stalled. President Trump said he would take care of the aid with an Executive Order if Congress
won’t step up and do it. The President ordered extended unemployment benefits, deferral of
payroll taxes, and more. Democrat leadership and some Republicans question the President’s
legal authority to do this. He is doing it any way. Perhaps Democrats will launch a lawsuit to
stop the aid, but politically that might be a bad idea for them.

A better outcome would be for both parties to come back and hammer out a compromise
pandemic relief package. Continuing Resolution – that’s what we will get. With less than a
dozen Congressional workdays left before the end of this fiscal year, Congress is not going to
pass a budget. We don’t want to shut down the government. A Continuing Resolution will carry
us beyond the election. Late again, but they can get it done.

Trade – U.S. agriculture is in position to end this year with a net trade deficit. I cannot
ever remember that happening before. Our deficit this year is $3 billion and not expected to get
any better in a month and a half. Corn sales are down 11%, cotton down 19% - fruits and
vegetables also down. China is coming on strong now. A 799,000 metric ton purchase of
soybeans was just announced following last week’s 1 million ton purchase. I still worry every
day as our U.S. – China relations continue to deteriorate. Trade disputes have hurt our sales, and
the virus has disrupted trade. Many normal trade channels are not working, and at the same time
it is reported that there are 844 million people in the world that are “food insecure.” They need
food.

Until next week, this John Block reporting from Washington, D.C. If you would like to
review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to
www.johnblockreports.com.

Previous Weeks

More Spending More Aid

August 6 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

It was so easy and so fast in the Spring -- when Republicans and Democrats came
together and authorized big spending to support our people and the economy. We didn’t have
the money.…



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Weather and Trade

July 30 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

All reports from the heartland tell us that this year’s crops look good. Corn and soybeans
on my farm are as good as I can remember. However, they are not ready to harvest. A hot…



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Virus Relief Package

July 22 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

We have two parties – Republicans and Democrats in our Congress. And then we have
President Trump. They all want to pass a new relief package to help us through our…

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Pandemic Costs Money

July 16 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

We are trying to survive a global pandemic, trade disruptions, and trade conflicts. Farm
bankruptcies have been increasing for 5 years in a row. And they are expected to…

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Pandemic Costs

July 8 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

In recent weeks, the news has focused on the number of cases of Coronavirus and related
deaths. We are aware of the large amount of money and support that our federal…

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Issues of the Day

July 1 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

For more than 2 years the U.S., Canada and Mexico have been negotiating a new North
American Free Trade Agreement. Finally, USMCA became effective this week. Even with the
new…

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China and More

June 25 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

I have, on more than one occasion, talked about President Trump and EPA in their effort
to restrain President Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule. That rule was written to restrict…

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Issues

June 18 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

I will cover some issues of the day that may not have gotten much attention.

1. The U.S. and Russia have a long-range nuclear arms agreement that will expire next
February. The…

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We Never Know

June 12 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

When you are farming, you are faced with a lot of unknowns - What will the weather be
like? Will these low prices ever recover? Our corn and soybeans are planted on my…

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Riots and More

June 4 2020

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

And now for today’s commentary –

I thought 2020 would be just a normal year. But – no. We were hit by the corona
pandemic, and that wasn’t enough. Suddenly a white police officer killed a black man…

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