Energy and Trade

March 3, 2022

March 3, 2022

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 today’s commentary- 

Have you noticed the escalating cost to fill your car up with gas? I did. It’s close to $100. Of course, in Europe the bill would be twice that much. Now we have Congress pushing new legislation that would suspend the federal gasoline tax of $.184 cents per gallon. Yes, that would help a little when we are paying close to $4.00 per gallon. It is still a bad idea. That tax money goes to the Highway Trust Fund to rebuild our infrastructure – our roads and bridges. Congress passed a restructuring bill last year. We should not take that money away. 

Hillary Clinton in 2008 proposed cutting the gas tax and Barack Obama said, “Cutting the gas tax is a gimmick.” With the attack on Ukraine by Russia the whole energy issue is getting a lot of attention. The U.S. is the number 1 producer of oil and gas, but Russia is right behind us. Europe imports one-third of their gas from Russia. Europe is highly dependent on Russian energy. Energy experts expect our natural gas and gasoline to keep going up in price. With the Covid virus in rapid decline people are back on the road. President Biden and the Climate Change Team have tried to close down our oil and gas production. We need to re-open oil and gas exploration.

Let’s talk about trade. I am reading on Politico that 41.5 million American jobs depend on trade. Jobs tied to trade have doubled from 10% in 1992 to more than 20% today. President Biden has been trying to put together an Indo-Pacific economic framework which could be good for trade, but why not listen to Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. She said, “the President needs to rejoin the Pacific Rim Trade Pack.” The U.S. helped write that agreement and President Trump pulled us out. 

Exports are so important to the U.S. ag industry. We export 25% of what we produce. There is a hungry world out there. In 2021 the world food price index rose 28%.  

In closing, I want to thank the European countries (including the UK) for stepping up to support Ukraine in their battle with Russia. The whole world has rallied against President Putin’s deadly war. 

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