Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is heading to Washington and the U.S. ag industry is unusually active in pushing efforts toward "more open" markets in Japan. Bloomberg's report notes that the Prime Minister will be hosted by President Trump at the White House April 26-27. The report...

  • The media is reporting that U.S. International Trade Commission recently estimated that the new NAFTA free trade pact would "modestly boost the U.S. economy, especially auto parts production, but may curb vehicle assembly and limit consumer choice in cars." The analysis is a crucial step in the...

  • Washington has always been fascinated by monetary policy and all sides are fascinated by the changes being discussed now, Bloomberg says. It is reporting that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues "have made an important change in their strategy for dealing with inflation...

  • Rural voters are widely seen as solid supporters of the President, The Hill says this week, but Senate Republicans are negotiating among themselves over how to respond to the volatile trade agenda as they brace for possible tariffs on the European Union (EU) and a trade deal with China that...

  • EU ministers on Monday authorized talks with the U.S. to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods, following through on a political accord reached in July between President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said she's determined to...

  • On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a group at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington that the biggest obstacle to a U.S.-China trade deal, which is how to enforce the pact, was "nearly settled." He called the proposed deal...

  • Amid continuing suggestions that trade talks with China are going well, the New York Times is reporting this week that the U.S. and the EU "are preparing to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's products." The report calls this development the latest escalation in a 14-year fight over...

  • USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service this week released the "2017 Census of Agriculture results." Originally scheduled for February 2019, the release was postponed because of the lapse in federal funding early in the year. The reports are massive and not much information has been...

  • Dairy industry problems have been among the toughest across agriculture for many years and continue to be so today. Even as USDA is preparing to roll out an enhanced program, the industry is suggesting that more help may be needed, POLITICO says this week.

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that Democratic "trade skeptics", including Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, are working to craft a labor enforcement proposal that could help ease the way for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Brown of Ohio and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are floating...

  • CIDRAP reported on an E. coli O103 outbreak last week, although the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to issue a public report on the expanding outbreak. Six of the 44 infected Kentuckians have required hospitalization. E. coli O103 is far less common than the O157: H7...

  • The Hill is reporting this week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is being squeezed between President Trump and anxious members of his Republican conference on a disaster relief bill that has stalled over the charged issue of assistance for Puerto Rico.

  • President Donald Trump's threat to close the southern border is stimulating widespread analysis as well as concern. Some of the estimates of potential impacts are very large. For example, Bloomberg cites reports that U.S. auto production would grind to a halt in a week if the border were shut.

  • There is a great deal of anxiety in Washington these days, but POLITICO is reporting this week that coming spending battles will be central. It sees a "looming battle" between President Trump and Democrats over spending and the debt limit that could "make the 35-day government shutdown look...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that the U.S.-China talks will take center stage now once China's Vice Premier Liu He arrives in Washington. These are very high-level negotiations, Bloomberg says, and will involve U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Treasury Steve...

  • There is a great deal of pressure on the Southern U.S. border these days as the president threatens to close it at the same time he cuts "hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to three Central American countries in retaliation for what he called their lack of help in reducing the flow of...

  • Bloomberg reports as candidates appeal for votes in Iowa they often appeal to family farmers. Bloomberg focuses on one proposal by an East Coast candidate that includes a promise to break up big agricultural businesses to end their "stranglehold" over farmers. Bloomberg notes that several...

  • The U.S. demand, reiterated in meetings with Canadian officials this week, has been rejected by Canada and Mexico and is eliciting opposition from American companies that use foreign steel and aluminum. This dispute is further complicating efforts to finalize the new NAFTA which faces a long...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that the president's new NAFTA, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is "running out of room" to find a path to congressional approval. The report says that the administration's biggest hurdle is "educating new lawmakers on trade priorities."

  • There is a lot of activity between the U.S. and China these days as well and important promises are being offered. For example, the New York Times says that top Chinese economic policymakers "promised this weekend that Beijing was ready to open up the country's economy to more market-based...