Current Week

Issues and Headlines

May 24, 2018

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 -

Topping the chart on America’s farms and ranches has been worries about a trade war. The United States and China threatened tariffs and trade restrictions. We announced $150 billion of levies on Chinese goods coming in to the U.S. China planned $50 billion of taxes on U.S. farm products. China had closed the door on our exports of sorghum also.

But, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his Trump Team sat down with the Chinese Team and came away with good news, announcing that we have decided to “put the trade war on hold.” Here is what the New York Times had to say: “China pledged to increase purchases of American goods by $200 billion by 2020.” President Trump’s critics, however, argue that a $200 billion increase is not possible.

Okay – but maybe we could increase exports to China by $100 billion. A good chunk of that could be agriculture and energy products. We’ll take that. Now, I realize that at this point we only have a verbal agreement. However, I am hopeful. China and the U.S. need to work together. We both have North Korea to be concerned about, and a war on the Korean Peninsula would be a far bigger problem for China than the U.S.

In addition, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping appear to be pretty good friends. If China will begin to reform their trade practices, the whole world will stand up and cheer. We realize success is not guaranteed, but there is a sigh of relief in farm country for now.

Another concern popped up that we had not anticipated. The House farm bill was put up for a vote and it failed. Thirty Republicans and all the Democrats voted against it. Some of the opponents were using the bill as leverage to get a vote on entirely separate legislation – legislation to reform immigration policy. With all of this craziness going on, let me just say that

I think we will get a farm bill. Farm bills are always hard to get across the finish line. The House and Senate will have to pass separate bills and reconcile the two. The current farm legislation is still in place and we will be fine if we can pass a bill or an extension by the end of the year.

Stay tuned.

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

Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.

Previous Weeks

Christmas and a New Year

December 28 2017

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 -

I hope you had a Merry Christmas. With this holiday season and the New Year upon usold memories from the past come flooding in to my mind. It’s time to relax and think about…

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Tax Holiday Reform Passes

December 21 2017

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

And now for today’s commentary -

The Holiday season is here. Amazing – Tax reform legislation has passed, and President Trump has signed it. That is a big Christmas present.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress got it done without any…

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Egg Regulations

December 14 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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 –

Maybe the “chickens are coming home to roost” in California. The state of California can’t think of enough new regulations. In 2015 California passed legislation…

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Duarte vs. Big Government

December 7 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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—

You may have heard about the John Duarte wetlands case. John Duarte, a California farmer, bought 450 acres in 2012. He plowed and planted it to wheat. The Army Corps of…

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The U.S. Department of Ag Team

November 30 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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 –

The U.S. Department of Ag is taking a very long time to fill some of our most important management positions. The administration has 4 under secretary posts unfilled and…

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Thanksgiving

November 23 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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 just celebrated another Thanksgiving. And we do have a lot to be thankful for. Our economy is roaring with GDP in the 3% range and near full employment.

The best…

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Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

November 16 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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 week, I attended the Farm Broadcasters Annual Convention in Kansas City. Over the last 35 years, I have attended almost all of the NAFB events. This year’s…

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Tax Reform

November 9 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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—

Tax reform is a hot topic here in the nation’s capital. That doesn’t mean that Congress will be able to pass the legislation. On paper, the planned tax overhaul will…

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NAFTA

November 2 2017

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and the 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—

Today, let’s talk about trade and tax reform. President Trump wants to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Congress is presenting a tax…

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The Opioid Crisis - Stop Pointing Fingers

October 26 2017

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

This is Rick Frank sitting in for John Block. And now for today’s commentary—

The opioid epidemic is a national crisis. Drug overdoses are killing 64,000 Americans each year. It is the leading cause of…

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