Esther Honig

This week at a press conference in Washington D.C., the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed details of their federal aid package meant to assist farmers caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s global trade war.

Japan is considering hitting back against the U.S. in retaliation for America's steel and aluminum tariffs. A Japanese levy could hurt our region's agricultural industry.

Farms and ranches throughout the country won’t see their labor shortages solved by a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In a call with reporters while visiting Mexico ahead of the trade talks, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said labor issues likely wouldn’t be addressed during formal negotiations among the United States, Mexico and Canada, set to begin August 16th.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

President Trump made campaign promises to pull the U.S. out of big international trade deals and focus instead on one-on-one agreements with other countries. But that has farmers worried they will lose some of the $135 billion in goods they sold overseas last year.

Two years ago, Missouri rancher Mike John expected the U.S. beef industry to grow by providing steaks and hamburgers from the Midwest to hungry eaters in Japan. He was planning on the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a massive trade deal among 12 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. It took eight years of negotiations to get each nation involved to agree to lower tariffs. Some economists expected the pact to add $3 billion dollars to the U.S. agriculture industry. Trump, however, called the TPP a disaster and pulled the U.S. out.

In Rural Trump Country, Trade Policy Divides

Mar 21, 2017
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Rural voters overwhelmingly chose President Donald Trump in the presidential election. But when it comes to the central campaign promise to get tough on trade, rural voters are not necessarily in sync with the administration.

Dawson County, Nebraska, could easily be called Trump country. As in most of rural America, Donald Trump won a big majority there – 70 percent of the vote. But it’s also a good place to look at one issue where rural residents have different perspectives: trade.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Turn on the TV and you can barely escape it: presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle deriding free trade agreements, like the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is a bum deal that will hurt the U.S. economy and especially low-wage workers, according to pols from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.

But if you venture into the Midwest and ask a farmer about the TPP, you’re likely to get a different answer.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal will change tariffs on agricultural exports, but for Midwest farmers and ranchers, the devil is in the details.

The TPP agreement could cut tariffs levied by many countries on U.S. exports like pork and rice, making it easier to get some products into markets in Asia.

Seeking Coal's Second Act, Wyoming Looks To China As An Ally

Oct 22, 2015
Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Wyoming is fighting hard to keep its coal on the market in the future, no matter the form. Why? Because, according to Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division, revenue from coal accounts for a whopping 25 percent of the state's budget. That dependence is underscored by announced cuts to the budget, courtesy of lower-than-expected energy revenues.

As global pressure to address climate change mounts and market forces continue to work against the black rock, researchers and policymakers in the state and in coal producing regions all over the world are scrambling to figure out what to do with coal other than burning it.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.) says approving a massive trade package sought by President Obama will allow the U.S. to "write the rules" of the global economy. Parts of the package are now in limbo in the House.

Ryan spoke with NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about the trade deal and about Trade Promotion Authority, also known as fast-track, which would allow the president to negotiate the trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and then have Congress pass it with an up-or-down vote.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

A deadly strain of avian influenza is spreading across poultry farms in the Midwest. While no cases have been reported in Colorado, egg and chicken producers in the state are taking steps to keep it that way.

Millions of birds have already succumbed to the virus nationwide, and new pockets are popping up almost daily. The virus isn’t harmful to people, but can be easily transmitted from humans to poultry.