A day after President Trump scoffed at wheat exports to Japan — “They don’t even want our wheat,” he said — U.S. wheat growers called out the president for maligning an important trade relationship. It was one of the first times farmers have talked back to Trump since they helped elect him to office.
During a 45-minute speech that included testimonials from three cabinet members, President Trump said on Monday that his administration coupled economic growth with environmental stewardship. The Sierra Club said the president was "attempting to greenhouse gaslight" Americans by focusing on air pollution and water quality while disregarding climate change.
Since President Trump took office, the USDA "has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change," reports Politico on Sunday. In a lengthy piece, it said at least 45 studies produced by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) did not receive any promotion, including a groundbreaking report that rice loses its vitamins in a carbon-rich atmosphere.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he'll have a decision "sooner rather than later" — maybe by Friday or maybe next week in Iowa with the president — on whether unplanted cropland will be eligible for Trump tariff payments this year. The USDA initially said unplanted land would not be eligible for the up to $14.5 billion in trade-mitigation payments, but the huge amount of flooded land in the Midwest prompted a second look at the question.
Three days ahead of the arrival of a Chinese trade delegation, President Trump said he would impose 25 percent tariffs on $525 billion of Chinese products as leverage for a resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade war that led to retaliatory duties on U.S. exports including soybeans. "The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!" said Trump on social media.
Former congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled a $5-trillion climate plan Tuesday that calls for reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and includes a number of agricultural initiatives to reduce and mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions on farms and deal with extreme weather events.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators may be within four weeks of resolving the Sino-U.S. trade war, said President Trump on Thursday. Trump said the nations are working on a comprehensive agreement. “And whether it’s our farmers or our technology people, all of them will be really happy.”
On Wednesday, in his latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump demanded that Congress “immediately eliminate the loopholes at the Border.” The American Farm Bureau Federation asked that agricultural trade be exempted from any restrictions, and the National Farmers Union said a closure would be disastrous.
An agreement between China and the United States to resolve the trade war “is coming along nicely,” said President Trump on Wednesday, although U.S. tariffs could remain in force for some time to assure that China lives up to the terms of the deal.