Commentary: John R. Block Reports from Washington — “A New Year and a New Day”

Hello everybody out there in farm country.  This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association.  They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America.  Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary –

Last year at this time we were expecting a pretty good year.  But out of nowhere the Coronavirus appeared and hammered the whole world with infections and death.  It is still with us.  With new vaccines we have hope.  This year will not be like last year.  We will have a new President, and in some cases, he will take us in a different direction.  On trade, I think he will make an effort to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade deal.

After all the time and effort in making that Trade Agreement, I did not support pulling out.  When we look at our trade war with China that Biden inherits, managing that will be a challenge.  He has said he would try to preserve the phase one deal that Trump negotiated.  That is good, but there are so many other complications like all kinds of tariffs.  The U.S. Government’s relationship with China has never been worse.  That is mostly their fault.  Can we get some meaningful Chinese reform?  We shall see.

We can’t ignore our third largest importer of our ag products.  China bought $17.1 billion of our products this past year. That jumped up from $10.1 billion in 2019.  Canada and Mexico are our number 1 and 2 markets – not much ahead of China.  We have other serious trade problems – the EU is one of the worst, and Brazil just put a 2.5% tariff on our ethanol.  When it comes to trade, the new administration will have their hands full.

President Biden has pledged to use his power to get other countries to “buy American.”  Wasn’t that a Trump pledge?  I like it.  Biden has indicated that he will put an end to the many small refinery exemptions that EPA has been issuing.  If he does what he says, that will be a big help to the ethanol – corn industry.  Kevin Ross, Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association said this – “Ethanol has a bright future and not just here in USA but around the globe.”

In some cases, I have serious concern about where President Biden’s party will try to take us.  Here is the list – taxes (especially estate tax), debt, environmental regulations (Waters of the U.S.) respect for small businesses and personal property, illegal immigration.  It’s a new year and new day.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com.

###

The views expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not necessarily those of sfntoday.com nor the Southern Farm Network.