November 28, 2019

November 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 a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

            And now for today’s commentary –

Today, I have a number of subjects to talk about. The Trade War with China
seems to be a priority every week. The Congress passed a bill with overwhelming
support criticizing China for human rights abuse. Yes, they have been criticized
before for human rights violations, but this is new. This is China’s interference in
Hong Kong riots. Our Congress expects President Trump to sign the bill. But if he
does, that could blow up any hope of getting our trade conflict fixed any time soon.
China does not welcome U.S. criticism. President Trump has not said if he would
sign the bill. He called the Hong Kong unrest a “complicating factor” in their
negotiations. It’s never easy.

Turn to Europe. They have offered to drop all of their non-tariff barriers on
our auto sales to them. Terrific -- but what about our farm products?
USDA has announced more trade aid payments for our farmers to help cover
the cost of the trade war. On first look you could say, that’s good. The ag industry
has suffered too much. But this generous precedent could be a problem in the future.
A word of caution comes from Joseph Glauber, the former USDA Chief Economist.
“Don’t expect this in the future.”

When I step back and think about the rollercoaster ride the farming business
has experienced, I am thankful that I have been able to hold on. We can’t control
our prices, or the weather.

Sometimes the government will do something unanticipated that will hurt our
markets, and then Uncle Sam will reach out with a helping hand. So, with this year’s
crop in the bin, I look out to 2020. It could be a great year, or it could be a disaster.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, it makes us think about our lives.
We should be grateful that we live in America. Look at the rest of the world -- wars
and conflict in the Middle East, hunger in Africa. Our economy is booming,
unemployment is at a record low. According to the American Farm Bureau our
Thanksgiving dinner didn’t cost any more this year than last year. That’s a bargain.
Thank you, God!

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