2003

The Budget

April 22 2003

The Congress finally has given us a budget. The budget is a broad outline that gives direction to the Congress as they pass the many spending bills for the year. The big fight was over how much to cut taxes. And that is still a little bit up in the air. President Bush wants a 550 billion dollar cut but the Senate says 350 billion is their limit. We'll see.

There was a lot of worry about what kind ofreduction the agriculture budget would face. Well,…

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The War and Agriculture

April 8 2003

It's been a long time since we went into a planting season with more uncertainty than we face today. We have a war against terrorism, a war in Iraq, a soft economy and drought in many parts of this country. A budget deficit forcing Congress to cut spending -- maybe ours -- and farm prices continue to languish.

Where do we go from here? Is there any other way to go but up? First, I think the war will be a net plus for agriculture in both the Sh0l1 term and long term. Short term, President…

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Free Trade

April 1 2003

Although I am not very optimistic about the new round of global trade negotiations, I am much more optimistic about negotiation of bilateral agreements. It is so difficult to get every country in the world to agree on a single plan to reduce duties, to harmonize regulatory standards and not get bogged down in an endless harangue about the environment, labor and even animal rights. However, country by country we can and are making progress.

We just concluded a free trade agreement with…

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