Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • Washington has hardly ever been as divided as it is today, and the debate is unusually toxic including new and old trade fights, Bloomberg says this week. In addition, this fight appears to focus on how trade disputes may be settled in the future.

  • Well, the media was quite surprised by last week's very positive jobs report and now is scrambling to interpret what it means. For example, the New York Times concedes that "conventional wisdom" was too pessimistic about how much the economy could grow...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that uncertainty remains about the proposed new North American Trade deal and why the "original NAFTA" isn't dead and gone in spite of numerous administration pledges to wipe it out.

  • The Wall Street Journal this week wrote that banks are no longer required to report hemp growers as suspicious and cited a group of financial regulators who said "lenders are no longer required to file reports on customers who produce hemp for...

  • The fact that efforts to compensate producers for the impacts of the trade wars with China and others are controversial likely is no surprise to most observers. The 1980 efforts to compensate producers for the Carter administration's embargo on...

  • While there are more and more trade policy issues emerging almost every day and the president appears to be actively downplaying expectations for a deal with China in the near future, concerns about next year's spending bills are re-emerging and...

  • President Donald Trump announced Monday that the administration will immediately reimpose tariffs on steel and aluminum from two South American countries, blaming the governments of Brazil and Argentina for devaluing their currencies and hurting the U.S...

  • Trade observers are watching carefully following last week's decision by President Donald Trump to sign legislation expressing support for Hong Kong protesters. In response, China threatened retaliation just as the two nations seemed close to signing a...

  • You could be excused if you thought that the U.S., China trade fight was the main trade policy uncertainty these days, especially after Bloomberg reported this week that President Donald Trump told the press that "he's holding up" the phase one deal. "We...

  • Amid all the alarms about the trade war, another threat is being highlighted this week by federal health and regulatory officials who are cautioning about romaine lettuce "of any kind harvested from the Salinas Valley."

  • At a time when most pundits are focused on the likelihood of a "phase one" deal that avoids more and bigger tariffs along with continued pressure on the economy from trade uncertainty, Reuters is suggesting that an ambitious "phase two" trade deal...

  • The Hill is reporting this week that top negotiators from the House and Senate have reached a long-stalled deal on top-line spending levels for the fiscal 2020 bills. The report cited House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., and Senate...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that China's chief trade negotiator indicated he was "cautiously optimistic" about reaching a phase one deal with the U.S. in spite of "warnings of the dangers of escalating the tariff war" by experts.

  • Pressures are building on Democrats from rural areas, many of whom face tough re-elections in 2020, Bloomberg is reporting this week. This group is "pushing their party leaders to complete the U.S., Mexico, Canada trade pact before the end of the year to...

  • News from the Congress this week includes a Bloomberg article that focused on efforts to avoid another Congressional shutdown. The report said that House Democrats on Monday released a four-week spending bill negotiated with Republicans to avert at...

  • It seems like a strange world when a presidential meeting with his Fed chair attracts significant media attention but the press is focusing pretty heavily on the recent session President Donald Trump held with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and...

  • A major effort is underway now to build some form of agreement with China over trade policy, Bloomberg reported last week, but there also is a new cottage industry in Washington trying to predict what the next steps in these talks actually will be.

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that Fed Chair Jerome Powell told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress on Wednesday that interest rates are "probably on hold after three straight reductions," while signaling that the U.S. central bank could resume...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that the Trump administration is "ratcheting up its pressure on the World Trade Organization (WTO) by raising the possibility of blocking the approval of the institution's biennial budget." Such a move could effectively halt...

  • Senate Democrats are "attacking President Trump's $28 billion farm trade aid program on the grounds that it favors southern farmers at the expense of their counterparts in the Midwest and Northern Plains." Also there are charges that it favors growers...