Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • American companies and trade groups are returning to a Washington hearing room, most to argue against more tariffs from Donald Trump. For this hearing, almost 360 individuals are scheduled to testify over six days of hearings that began yesterday on the latest round of proposed actions...

  • The Office of Management and Budget, according to multiple reports, is eyeing cuts that could total more than $3 billion from previously allocated funding for foreign aid. The Hill says this is part of an administration effort "intended to target funding it views as unnecessary."

  • The Chinese trade delegation will meet with an American group led by David Malpass, under secretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department, at the invitation of the U.S., China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Thursday.

  • In an unusual focus on the coming conference committee showdown for the farm bill, The Hill cites a bi-partisan group of former USDA secretaries that calls the narrow focus on work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program "a mistake." In fact, the group says they are...

  • A Washington attorney argues that FDA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are no longer actively enforcing laws against false and misleading marketing schemes. While the laws against phony food claims and misleading statements are still enforced in some...

  • The Washington Post is deep into the business of keeping journalism honest, with its longer analyses and Pinocchio awards, and is now ambitiously plunging into the fight over what is really, really true about soybeans.

  • For example, Bloomberg reported this week that the decision Friday to double steel and aluminum tariffs on a Turkish economy already reeling from a currency crisis came just days after imposing new sanctions on Russia, creating market havoc in both countries. It noted that "most Asian...

  • Bloomberg is carrying a detailed analysis this week asking why soybeans are on the front lines of the U.S. China trade war. The report says that while China is targeting a slew of American farm goods in this round of taxes, soybeans are the top agricultural commodity China imports from the U.S.

  • There have been numerous reports of growing opposition to administration trade policy from groups, members of Congress and others in recent days. In addition, this week, The Hill is carrying a snapshot of at least one producer's feelings in an opinion letter from "a Nebraska farmer from...

  • There is a lot of media ink going into examinations of just how U.S. trading partners globally are responding to the Trump Administration's tariffs and threats. For example, Bloomberg looked at Germany this week, the largest European exporter. It reports that its exports exceeded imports...

  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is airing a 30-second ad starting Monday on "Fox and Friends" and other programs President Trump is known to watch. Bloomberg calls the campaign "the cornerstone of a Mission Not Accomplished campaign urging Washington to make upgrading public...

  • On Thursday, the President "jumped into the farm bill debate once again, this time on Twitter, in an effort to tip the scales toward House Republicans ahead of conference negotiations, according to Politico.

  • Well, it seems that the war of words and threats over trade with China still has the capacity to shock people. Bloomberg is reporting that a new threat. The administration said Wednesday that it's considering increasing the proposed tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% from 10% and...

  • It is not easy to understand just what is going on with the NAFTA talks these days. It appears that in a somewhat strange development given the broad, North America-wide focus of the deal, Canada has been rebuffed recently in attempts to engage with U.S. Trade Representative Robert...

  • POLITICO is reporting this week that the farm bill conference is stalled in the Senate. It notes that Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was hopeful that the Senate would vote last week to start formal farm bill conference talks and name its conferees. That was expected to have kept...

  • There was a good bit of farmer angst across the farm belt last week in spite of the administration's new farmer assistance plan, Bloomberg and others are reporting. While USDA's plan buoyed markets, "it didn't win over skeptics on Capitol Hill, including Republicans from politically important...

  • The EU's top court ruled last week that "gene-edited" crops are "genetically modified organisms" and must comply with the tough regulations it uses against plants made with genes from other species, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

  • USDA recently changed its policy of giving journalists a little time to digest new crop and livestock data ahead of the public release time, as DTN, Bloomberg and others reported. And, the general reaction was a fairly deep yawn. However, there's a lot missing in the quick-time glance at the...

  • Well, it seems if no one really knows just what the state of play on trade policy is just now. The New York Times that treated trade platform planks very casually during the campaign has now begun to take the issue much more seriously, as the White House recently admitted that one of its...

  • Bloomberg and others are reporting this week that U.S. companies and industry groups are returning to Washington this week in "an increasingly futile effort to secure exclusions from President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports." The administration already has imposed tariffs on $34...