Shawn Donnan and Sam Fleming reported last week at The Financial Times Online that, "Robert Lighthizer, the lawyer [President-elect Donald Trump] picked for US trade representative, has for years likened free-trade advocates to political naifs. He will join Peter Navarro, another outspoken China hawk set to lead a new National Trade Council, and Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor and the president-elect’s pick for commerce secretary, in a triumvirate chosen to deliver on Mr Trump’s campaign promise of an 'America First' trade policy."
Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas released the results of its 2016 Fourth Quarter Agricultural Credit Survey.
Los Angeles Times writer Geoffrey Mohan reported on the front page of the business section on Friday, December 30th that, "For food shoppers, 2016 was a back-to-the-future experience, with retail prices deflating for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was president."
A recent Congressional Research Service report provided an overview of the Agricultural appropriations bill, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture, except for the Forest Service, and is compromised mostly of mandatory spending set by law.
In a special section of the Christmas Day edition of the Omaha World-Herald, Barbara Soderlin reported that, "The outlook may sound bleak for Nebraska’s agriculture-dependent economy as farmers wrap up the third year in a row with falling profits: The decline has economists talking about state budget cuts, rising farm loan defaults and falling land values. Main Street businesses that depend on farm spending say the picture might be dimmer, but they’re not yet turning out the lights."
Last week, DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported that, "Biofuel supporters largely keep pointing to President-elect Donald Trump's campaign statements on ethanol, but the stack of nominations coming from Trump with far closer ties to oil than ethanol is quickly starting to raise some red flags.
Recall that back in September, Reuters writers David Lawder and Nathaniel Taplin reported that, “The United States on [September 13th] launched a challenge to China’s price supports for domestic wheat, corn and rice at the World Trade Organization, charging that these far exceed limits that China committed to when it joined the WTO in 2001.”
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Wednesday's Des Moines Register that, "Iowa's average farmland value declined for the third year in a row, down 5.9 percent to $7,183 an acre over the past year. It's the first time since the 1980s farm crisis that land values have fallen three straight years, according to an Iowa State University [ISU] report released Tuesday.
Des Moines Register reporter Jason Noble reported on December 7th that, "Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will serve as ambassador to China in the administration of President-elect Donald Trump." The article noted that, "In a statement, Trump praised Branstad’s long experience and close relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping."
Caitlin Dewey reported in the Washington Post on December 7th that, "President-elect Donald Trump has promised a major crackdown on illegal immigration, triggering immense alarm among the country's 11 million undocumented people. But Trump’s deportation promises, if fulfilled, would ripple far beyond the lives of illegal immigrants. Deportations would affect vast swaths of the economy — with a particularly dramatic impact on agriculture.