Reuters news reported yesterday that, “The appetite for trade deals in the United States is fading and the window to strike an agreement in the Doha round of farm talks is closing, analysts and lawmakers said Tuesday…’There is a growing protectionist side in both political parties,’ Jim Wiesemeyer, vice-president of farm and trade policy at Informa Economics, said in a speech at the annual meeting of the industry group American Sugar Alliance here…He said progress must be made in the Doha round of farm talks by the end of the month or there is a risk that a watered-down version of the trade agreement will be the result in what he called ‘Doha lite.’”
I. Farm Bill
I. Farm Bill
Bob Von Sternberg, writing yesterday at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, reported that, “The nation’s top agricultural official came to Minnesota’s premier farm gathering on Tuesday with what he said was good news about a new federal disaster declaration for drought-plagued Minnesota counties.
“But before a standing-room-only crowd of farmers, their families and suppliers, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns did not deliver any good news on the topic they had come to hear about: the $250 billion farm bill that the administration has threatened to veto.
“‘I’ll tell you without hesitation that the president wants to sign a farm bill,’ Johanns said during the kickoff forum of the state’s annual three-day Farmfest near Redwood Falls in southwestern Minnesota ‘But he wants a farm bill that makes sense.’”
“Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., center, made a point Tuesday about the farm bill pending in Congress. Walz, Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, left, and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., discussed farm policy at Farmfest” (Photo and caption from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online).
The article noted that, “During the 90-minute session on the bill, Johanns used conciliatory words even as he stood fast by the administration’s opposition to a handful of the massive bill’s provisions. Sounding equally conciliatory were the four members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation who sit on House and Senate agriculture committees — even as they just as adamantly decried the veto threat.