China set to Retaliate; Farm Bureau Welcomes WOTUS Delay

China has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into US exports of sorghum. It comes less than a fortnight after Trump slapped steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines and two months after Washington’s decision to investigate Chinese aluminum alloy sheet. Those moves had rekindled concerns among global policymakers and markets of a U.S.-China trade war.

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s action to extend the delay of application for the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule is a welcome relief to farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF senior director of regulatory relations Don Parrish says the move by the EPA is a step forward on water regulation.

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The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer turned higher for January, showing some optimism among farmers and ranchers. After trending lower late last year, the monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the U.S. indicated that the measure of producer sentiment climbed to 135 points at the beginning of 2018, up nine points from December. Organizers say the increase was driven by an improvement in both of the barometer’s Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations.

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Gas prices across the US have been increasing for the past six weeks, with the average now hovering around $2.61 per gallon. Analysts expect prices to be back over 3 dollars by Spring. Tom Kloza is Global Head of Energy Analysis with the Oil Price Information Service. According to him, this could be the beginning of a new normal. Kloza says that even though demand in the US is flat, it’s growing around the world – which will lead to higher prices back home. Where are they getting from? In a lot of cases, the US…

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When it comes to high credit card balances, Americans in the South carry the most debt. That’s according to a new survey from CreditCards.com. Jim Taylor reports.