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In This Issue
Can The Perfect Storm Continue In 2011?
Price, Price & Price
SE Leaders Hoping Momentum Continues
Young Miss. Producer Has His Own Style
Better Climate Being Forecast For Trade Issues
Early Rains Helped Agricenter’s ‘10 Crop
Arkansas To Release New Variety
Gillon Excited About Returning To Industry
Cotton's Agenda: U.S. Cotton Capitalizing
Cotton Board: Knowing When To Quit
What Customers Want: Cotton Quality Can’t Be Ignored At Retail Level
Western Producers Need Specialized Varieties
Companies Help In War On Weeds
PCG’s Cottonseed Insurance Now Offered
Deltapine Launches Two New Varieties
California Farmers Working On Water Quality
Publisher's Note: Cotton’s Mission: Exceed Expectations
Editor's Note: Industry's Enthusiasm Hard To Contain This Year
Industry Comments
Web Poll: Reaction To Ag Apps For Cell Phones
Viewpoint: Want Cotton Quality? Go To Texas
Specialists Speaking
Cotton Ginners Marketplace: Know Your Ginning Costs: The Key To Survival
Industry News
Cotton Consultants Corner: Cotton Farming Never Stops
My Turn: Cotton People Won’t Quit
ARCHIVES

Better Climate Being Forecast For Trade Issues

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Given the changing political landscape in Washington, D.C., trade proponents say they hope trade issues will receive greater priority in Congress in 2011. But surveys indicating growing public skepticism about the benefits of free trade could complicate the future of U.S. policy.

Conventional wisdom says that with a new Republican majority in the House starting in January, trade-related issues would get a better hearing, says David Salmonsen, a trade specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Compared to the last two years where we couldn’t do much of anything related to trade with Congress, the outlook for trade-related legislation and activities is looking better,” Salmonsen notes. “But it’s still going to take work.”

Some Views Are Unknown

Trade was a not a big issue in most congressional races, he noted, and some new members of the Republican caucus did not run as traditional Republicans in their campaigns, so their views on trade issues remain unclear.

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that at full implementation, the South Korean free trade agreement would increase U.S. agricultural trade by $1.8 billion annually. Together with the Colombia and Panama free trade agreements, the United States could benefit from nearly $3 billion in additional exports, according to AFBF.

Barry Bedwell, president of the California Grape and Tree Fruit League, says his organization has been generally in support of free trade agreements and expanding markets, since nearly 40 percent of table grapes and about 20 percent of tree fruit are exported.

But he says the Obama administration’s lack of action in resolving a 20-month trade dispute with Mexico “is in direct contradiction to what they’re saying about the importance of trade.”

Trade Support Decreasing

According to a recent post-election poll by the Pew Research Center, support for free trade agreements is now at one of its lowest levels in the 13 years the studies have been done. Some 44 percent of people surveyed say free trade agreements have been bad for the country, while 35 percent say they’ve been good.

Bedwell says trade has been painted by some interest groups as having a negative impact on jobs.

California Farm Bureau Federation recently published this article on its Web site at www.cfbf.com.

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