is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist

More Protectionism Possible, Policy Expert Predicts

Congress, not President, will be stumbling block for U.S. ag trade.

Concerns over trade won't come from the White House – they will come from Congress, predicts farm policy analyst Barry Flinchbaugh, a Kansas State University Economist speaking at last week's Farm Futures Management Summit held in Indianapolis, Ind.

"We are entering an era of protectionism, but it appears the president is not buying into that," he says. As proof, Flinchbaugh notes that Obama has appointed trade-friendly people to key positions including Paul Volcker, one of the President's Chief Economic Advisers, and Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative-designee.

U.S. ag trade already faces non-political challenges. It is expected to decline from record highs of $115 billion last year due to recession, lower global demand and the stronger dollar.

"The real problem with trade will be in Congress," says Flinchbaugh. "The Colombian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has no downside, but we slapped that country in the face. Madam speaker is holding up the agreement. Frankly, she knows that if it's allowed to come up in the house, it will pass."

Flinchbaugh has been "pleasantly surprised" by the new administration. "It's a centrist administration, right down the middle," he says. "I can't quarrel with the cabinet, especially the Secretary of Agriculture." He notes that the last three Ag Secretaries were first governors of Midwestern states.

"That's not a bad trend because governors of Corn Belt and High Plains states understand agriculture."

TAGS: Regulatory
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.