Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • A common theme across much of the national this weekend has been a deepening gloom over the future outlook for global trade that is worsening rapidly. For example, the New York Times says in a long article featured on Sunday's front page that only a few months ago, "the global economy...

  • The press is reporting today that Republicans are backing away from confrontation with President Trump over trade. For example, the New York Times says that when it came time to stand up to President Trump on tariffs this week, Senate Republicans took a pass "casting aside the party's...

  • There was a ripple of concern throughout the biotechnology community this week in response to study findings reported in the journal Nature Medicine. At first, these "appeared to cast doubt on the viability of the most widely used form of gene editing, known as Crispr-Cas9 or simply Crispr...

  • While there are numerous mysterious goings on in the government these days, a White House economic analysis of President Trump's trade agenda looks to be one of the most unexpected. It is a very high level study that concludes that the administration's proposed will hurt economic growth in...

  • The press is trying hard to understand what happened last week at the "rockiest annual meeting of major Western powers in decades" the New York Times is reporting. It said that President Trump criticized the tariffs imposed on American goods as "ridiculous and unacceptable" and vowed to...

  • Europe strictly enforces "geographical Indictor" polices that dictate what food can be called and what ingredients can go into certain well-known dishes. Countries in Europe zealously guard their gastronomic heritage, and the European Union itself maintains a list of "protected" dishes and...

  • There is wide support for U.S. producers from all levels of the Trump administration, Bloomberg says, but it also suggests that farmer loyalty for the president may be "starting to waver over moves that are seen to undermine corn-based ethanol and escalate trade disputes" with countries...

  • The Hill is reporting this week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky., will not bring up a freestanding bill to push back on President Trump's trade agenda -- but that "GOP senators might be able to add such an authority to other legislation." Support among Republicans has grown...

  • In the midst of chaotic fights over many important policies, the stalemate between two wings of the House Republican conference over the Dreamers program likely will continue to add yet another tough fight, POLITICO says this week. It thinks House Republicans are on the brink of an...

  • It's no secret that rural America was key for President Donald Trump taking the White House in November 2016. It's also no secret that those in rural America have continued to show support for Trump even as he has taken steps on trade that have provoked harsh responses from key trading...

  • Well, last week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met China's Liu He in Beijing and reported that "progress was made in agriculture, energy sectors," Bloomberg reported. However, that does not appear to have been the last word. On Sunday, Chinese sources said that "all commitments made so far...

  • The White House announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU) earlier this week, sharply increasing trade and economic policy uncertainty just ahead of the fall elections. At the same time, House and Senate Republican leaders are getting ready to...

  • This week, The Hill is carrying an OpEd by well-known expert, Mark Keenum, chairman of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board of directors and president of Mississippi State University. Keenum previously worked with former Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and was an undersecretary...

  • The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it is going ahead with actions to crack down on Chinese trade practices by June 30. President Donald Trump is planning further export controls against China to counter Chinese intellectual property theft, including tariffs on Chinese tech...

  • The Trump administration told lawmakers late last week it had reached a deal that would keep the Chinese telecom firm ZTE alive, a move that could clear the way for further trade talks with China, the New York Times said. It also thinks the move could "provoke anger in Congress."

  • It appears that the House Agriculture Committee is still determined to pass its farm bill in its current form, without Democratic support, Bloomberg is reporting. To do that, committee chair Mike Conaway, Texas will need Freedom Caucus votes but he still lacks a "pledge of support" from that...

  • The Senate Banking Committee in midweek voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment to block Trump from easing penalties on ZTE, which violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to North Korea and Iran. The panel's action followed a similar vote by a House panel last week.

  • POLITICO is reporting this week that the current trade "detente" with China is fragile, in spite of the president's partial victory claims, and despite the recent the market reaction.

  • Well, it appears that the administration has changed its mind on tariffs on Chinese goods. On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the press said that the administration put its trade war with China "on hold" after two days of talks in Washington that he said had produced an...

  • Washington's toxic environment appears to have led to a fight over U.S. immigration policy and to the failure of a House version of a new farm bill on Friday, Bloomberg says.