October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

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-

Senator Bernie Sanders and his Socialist-leaning Members of Congress continue to press to spend more money on social programs. I remember when President Reagan came to town, he stood up for smaller government, less regulations, less spending. A new Gallup poll today says that support for bigger government is headed down. Only 43% want more government. We don’t need a dramatic expansion of the welfare state.

Turn to trade which is so important for our country. Our U.S. Trade Representative Katherine
Tai has a big challenge in dealing with China. The Biden Administration is not ready to just lift
tariffs on China imposed by President Trump. It is a real trade war. China has tariffs of 58.3% on
imports from U.S. We have a 66.4% tariff on China’s goods coming into the U.S.
Representative Tai says “decoupling relations with China is not a realistic outcome in terms of
our global economy. Washington needs a co-existence with Beijing.” I agree. China has the
biggest population and just behind the U.S. has the number two economy in the world. We need
to live together and avoid conflict. We don’t want trade conflict and we certainly don’t want
military conflict.

The Phase One trade deal that President Trump negotiated with China is worth keeping even though China is coming up short on purchases from the U.S. Representative Tai said “We need to communicate directly with China. Our objective is not to inflame trade tensions with China.” Also, it isn’t a good idea to rely too much on any one country when it comes to trade. We do need to diversify. However, as long as China is buying, we are selling. Since China has made progress in controlling African Swine Fever, they have rebuilt their swine herds and that pork export market is on the decline. But the Chinese beef market is booming. Our beef exports to China are up 21% compared to last year. U.S. total ag exports will exceed our ag imports this year which is a reversal of the last two years. I don’t have the time to cover the threat of inflation, but maybe next week. Gasoline, rent, food, labor everything is up – 5.4% and rising.

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