The partial government shutdown is putting a kink in the Trump tariff payments to farmers and it could prevent the EPA from approving the sale of E15 by the summer, as promised by President Trump. But farm groups have made few public complaints about the shutdown, now in its third week.
One of the world's largest grain companies warned of a "skinny export season" for U.S. soybeans and an intergovernmental body said the United States might need to seek new markets for its cotton due to President Trump's trade war with China. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatened on Wednesday to put 25-percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as leverage for reform.
A growing number of farmers and rural advocates say President Trump's trade and rural infrastructure proposals would further damage the struggling farm economy, despite his vow to boost rural America through renewed investment.
The Trump administration's new and smaller boundaries for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments may not generate many immediate requests from energy companies to mine or drill on the 2 million acres of land, said the Associated Press. The Interior Department declined to say how many claims have been filed but a trade group said low uranium prices would "discourage any investment in new claims'" in the Bears Ears territory of Utah.
In the years before becoming co-chair of the Trump presidential campaign, Iowa college professor Sam Clovis, nominated to be the USDA's chief scientist, said homosexuality was a choice and that same-sex marriage could lead to legalization of pedophilia, reported CNN's KFile. The White House did not respond to a CNN request for comment and a USDA spokeswoman told the KFile, "The Supreme Court settled the issue in 2015."
Nearly two decades ago, Congress exempted food and agricultural goods from the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, opening the way for modest exports to the island. The 2000 law would be somewhat of a shield for those sales when President Trump realigns U.S. policy toward Havana, scheduled in Miami on Friday.