Current Week

Trade

July 18, 2019

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 –

Some listeners might get tired of hearing about trade disputes.  Why are they important?  Well, for the ag industry it makes the difference between profit and loss because we export 20-30% of our farm production.  Chinese tariffs have been very costly.  Our government will be providing assistance to farmers hurt by the trade war.  Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production says qualified farmers could start getting some money from the $16 billion Market Facilitation Program next month.  Farmers received government support last year and will get some this year.  That will be welcome, but we really want an end to the trade conflict with China. 

Now we have some trade war hawk voices crying out that “a China deal could cost Trump the election next year.”  I don’t agree.  A deal should help the President.  President Trump and President Xi are expected to meet in September.  It would be a victory if something could be worked out by then.

China isn’t the only trade question.  We have negotiated a new agreement with Canada and Mexico.  USMCA needs to be passed by our Congress.  There is strong bipartisan support for the bill, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won’t let the House vote on it.  She is demanding significant changes.  To me it is all politics. 

Here is what the National Corn Growers Association had to tell us.  “Over the past 25 years American agriculture exports have tripled to Canada and quintupled to Mexico.  Times are tough across the farm belt and reaffirming our relationship with Mexico and Canada will provide a more certain future for American farmers.  It’s time for Congress to pass USMCA!”  Well, I second that motion.

Next week the European Commission’s new Director General for Trade will come to Washington to talk trade.  The EU is a problem.  At this point they have refused to include agriculture in the trade talks.  Let’s not forget about Japan.  We are working with them now to cut a trade deal.  The word is that we could have one by some time in September.  Stay cool.

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

Spring 2019

May 1 2019

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 –

Last Sunday former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar died. He served 36 years in the U.S. Senate – what an outstanding leader and great guy. In 1985 we had to write and pass a new…

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Down on the Farm April 2019

April 26 2019

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 –

Earlier this week, I was on the farm in Illinois, and I want to talk to you about that.

I had a chance to meet and talk to neighbors and friends, and I always ask them about…

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What’s Ahead

April 18 2019

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 –

This weekend I will be on my farm in Illinois.  When I booked my flight, I thought we might be planting corn.  Not likely – too much rain.

At this moment I am looking at…

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Creativity

April 11 2019

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 –

From farm to fork the food industry is doing more than its share to hold inflation down.  The US Department of Agriculture projects only a 1 percent increase in the cost…

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Swine Fever & USMCA

April 4 2019

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 –

What should we focus on today?  Let’s start with African Swine Fever.  ASF is the deadliest disease threatening the pork industry.  It is estimated that China has lost…

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No Collusion

March 28 2019

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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

After 2 long years of distraction and political attacks, Special Counsel Muller released his report.  “The Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with the Russian…

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Issues of the Day

March 21 2019

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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Let’s begin with hemp.  When I was a little boy, hemp was growing wild on the roadsides and ditches.  It was harvested to make rope during World War II.  It is a close…

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The President’s Budget

March 13 2019

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 healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.

Thank you.

  And now for today’s commentary –

Issues of the Day.  The President’s Budget.  If everything goes according to plan, when we enter our next fiscal year, October 1, we will have a budget passed by the…

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Land Grab

March 6 2019

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 –

Did you know that Congress passed legislation authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to spend 9 billion dollars to buy private land?  The Department of Interior…

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China and N. Korea

February 27 2019

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 –

Priority government issues of the day would have to be trade negotiations with China and President Trump’s meeting with N. Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

Our Ag industry has…

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