Three Issues

October 2, 2014

October 2, 2014

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

And now for today’s commentary—

Another week – harvest moving ahead at a fast pace. I have three hot new issues to put on the table today.

I’m sure you heard about that guy that scaled the fence in front of the White House – ran for the front door. Guess they were expecting a visitor because it wasn’t locked. He went right in. At first, the Administration led us to believe he was apprehended right there. But no – he ran from room to room something like a White House tour. Where was the Secret Service? As I remember the White House, it wasn’t that easy to call on the President. Someone should have been on the front porch. Just shoot the guy. Enough on that subject. Turn the page.

This week, the U.S. government agreed to give Brazil $300 million. And for what? We are buying them off. With money in their pocket, they have agreed to not retaliate against our cotton exports. The World Trade Organization had found our cotton subsidies to be unfair and driving down world cotton prices. Go back to 2010; we were paying Brazil an annual bribe of $147 million to avoid their trade retaliation threat. I am glad this dispute is settled and behind us. However, it was our fault because our cotton program did not pass the fair test at WTO. We are a world leader in trade, and we should ensure that our farm programs meet WTO criteria. It’s that simple. Turn the page to the last issue.

The Chinese government has hammered our corn and DDG prices. Last fall, they found traces of a GMO in some grain shipments that they had not approved. Now, they have backed away from the U.S. market. This is a huge problem for U.S. agriculture. Now, we have a big lawsuit – Cargill v. Syngenta. It is Syngenta’s seed that the Chinese have not yet approved. But, there is some good news. This week, the Chinese government announced a major media campaign supporting genetically engineered crops. They hope to override the anti-GMO sentiment that has been growing among their consumers. Never mind the fact that today they import millions of tons of GMO soybeans. The Chinese Ag Department had this to say: “We will create a social atmosphere which is beneficial for the healthy development of the genetically-modified industry.”

This is encouraging. China is a government-dominated economy. Maybe they can dictate that “thou shalt eat and like GE foods.” Let’s hope. We already know they are safe. Keep those combines rolling.

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C