Chinese Tariffs on Agriculture

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President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a new trade deal with China this morning.

Part of the agreement includes China buying more soybeans and other U.S. farm products.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem were by Trump’s side in Washington, D.C.

Noem mentioned the potential positive impact for farmers during her “State of the State” speech yesterday in Pierre.

“I have a deep appreciation for the President for his commitment and leadership to mend this U.S. China Trade Agreement.”

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds is proposing raising the state sales tax and cutting income taxes as one of her legislative priorities for 2020. 

Reynolds announced the plan today in her condition of the state address

 “These investments will not only aid our conservation efforts, they will improve our quality of life and help us retain and recruit a new generation of Iowans.” 

On this week's program, we will hear from the author of a new book that tells the wide-ranging history of the Lakota people, who have lived in Missouri River Valley for hundreds of years.

Also, we have an interview with presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg spoke with the hosts of the podcast We Are Not A Monolith Ike Rayford and Shelby Pierce at the Siouxland Public Media studios last week.

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With news of a tentative trade deal between the U.S. and China, Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he welcomes progress — but with a healthy amount of caution.

Grassley, a Republican, says the initial information that’s being released on the accord “gives me hope, at least some hope” he tells Radio Iowa, that the partial deal can be turned into a “full deal.” “I’m also under no illusions that this is going to be easy,” Grassley says. “After decades of broken promises from the Chinese, there should not be an agreement based on trust.”

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The state budget director is urging caution as Iowa revenue growth is expected to be much slower this budget year than in the previous one.

Members of the state revenue estimating panel pointed to recent changes in state and federal tax laws, unfinished trade agreements, and a slowdown in national economic growth. 

Department of Management Director David Roederer (roe-der) says he doesn’t think a recession is right around the corner, but he has concerns.

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Though plenty of hard work remains on a possible trade deal between the United States and China, the agriculture sector is finding hope in the tentative agreement the countries have announced. 

President Donald Trump says China has agreed to buy between 40 and 50 billion dollars in US agriculture products if the deal goes through. Iowa State University economics professor Wendong Zhang says that’s significantly more than any single-year of US exports to the Asian giant. But it’s not clear whether the new number reflects an annual promise.

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The ongoing trade dispute with China is likely to cost Nebraska’s farmers $943 million in lost revenue this year, according to the Nebraska Farm Bureau. However, the bureau says those losses will be partly offset by aid payments from the government.

But, the bureau says the lost revenue will add to the financial pressure on farmers in the state and hurt Nebraska's economy.

And the global economic slowdown and restrictive tariffs are part of the reason for stalled growth in nine Midwest states.  

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The ongoing trade war with China shows little indication of wrapping up, even with negotiators back at the table. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he’s not putting stock in rumors or predictions about when an agreement might be reached.

 Now I’m going to be very careful about being positive about things coming out.  

Both countries’ economies are feeling the pain from tariffs, Grassley says, but the whole world will ultimately benefit from a resolution.

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 A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows they're rapidly losing confidence in the region's farm economy.

The Rural Mainstreet survey for May, released Thursday, shows the survey's overall index dropping from 50 in April to 48.5 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

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China is hardly buying any U.S. soybeans thanks to the ongoing trade dispute. But as China grapples with a major disease outbreak, there’s a possible silver lining for farmers here.  

African swine fever has led to the deaths of at least a million hogs in China, a country that eats a lot of pork.

To meet that demand, China may need to import more U-S pork.

The U-S has the capacity to raise more pigs, and those animals would eat some of the soybeans that China isn’t currently buying.