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international trade

Friday is the deadline for U.S.-China trade talks. If they fail and China's 25-percent tariff on soybeans goes into effect, Missouri farmers will feel the impact.
jasonippolito | Flickr

The number of Missouri farmers who are pessimistic about the new year is double what it was at the same time in 2019, according to a new survey by the Missouri Farm Bureau. 

The poll of members showed that 14% of farmers have negative feelings about 2020, compared to 6% in 2019 and 3% in 2018.

A similar survey of farmers by Purdue University shows a comparable mood across the Midwest.

Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Meusch, who farms 240 acres just outside Rolla, didn’t have health insurance for seven years until he recently got another job.

“We signed up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act right when it was passed. But two years later, we couldn’t afford the premiums,” Meusch said, speaking to U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, on the porch of his home last week.

Missouri rice farmers to export rice to Egypt
Southeast Missouri State University

It takes a lot of water to grow rice.

Farmers in Missouri’s bootheel have plenty from underground aquifers, replenished by the Mississippi River. But in Egypt, the government has slashed rice planting in half to conserve water.

A new dam near the Nile River’s source in Ethiopia is threatening to stem the flow to Egypt’s rice paddies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 22, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is returning from his weeklong trade trip to Asia with a bunch of trade agreements in his pocket.

The governor’s staff announced that the deals with South Korea and Taiwan, combined, call for $1.9 billion in Missouri products to be sold to the two countries over the next four years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 24, 2012 - Rebecca Blank, acting secretary of the Department of Commerce, used part of her speech at a Maryland Heights manufacturing facility to cajole Congress into extending some of the Bush-era tax cuts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 13, 2012 - Last year, Choi Young-jin found himself under siege as he tried to convince the leadership of Cote d’Ivoire that it had lost the election he was monitoring and it was time for a peaceful transition.

This week, he found himself in decidedly more pleasant, more hospitable surroundings, explaining how the newly adopted free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States will benefit both countries and help usher in an era of prosperity.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 10, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Fending off opposition from some conservatives, the House on Wednesday approved a compromise bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which provides loan guarantees to help U.S. exporters -- including 78 firms in Missouri and 236 in Illinois – sell their wares abroad.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 26, 2012 - The chief difference between China and the United States is that one takes the long view, and the other does not.

And Mike Jones, special adviser to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, said it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s China – which has been around 5,000 years – that looks far ahead.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 4, 2012 - With a new name, a new chairman and a new source of money, the re-christened Midwest Hub Commission is proceeding with its effort to reframe and reinvigorate the effort to transform Lambert-St. Louis International Airport into an international cargo hub.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon,  April 3, 2012 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and his wife will lead a delegation representing major businesses around the state – including St. Louis’ Boeing and Monsanto – for a five-day trade meeting later this month to Brazil.

The trip begins April 14. The group is slated to visit São Paulo and Brasilia. The trip comes less than a year after the governor led a trade group to China.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Steel wheels, nails and bedsprings made in Missouri are on the list. So are pipes, paintbrushes and coat hangers from Illinois. Not to mention a host of other products, from Silicon Valley electronics to Detroit auto parts.

If it seems that the Chinese are throwing cheaper versions of everything but the kitchen sink at U.S. markets, think again. This month, an Illinois kitchen-sink manufacturer — the Elkay Cos. — asked Washington to slap an “anti-dumping” tariff on Chinese steel sinks.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - WASHINGTON - When Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc., found that cheap Chinese imports were cutting into its bedspring sales, the company got a federal "anti-dumping" order to lower Chinese sales by imposing duties that could double their price.

That, at least, was the theory. But soon after the U.S. anti-dumping duties were imposed in 2007, Chinese firms found a way to get around them: shipping the bedsprings via other Asian countries and then to U.S. markets under false claims of origin.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Die-casting companies in Missouri had mixed views on whether a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission to end one antidumping tariff but continue another on imported magnesium would help their businesses.

In a vote Thursday in Washington, the commission retained the antidumping duties on magnesium imports from China after determining that revoking the tariffs would likely "lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury" to the sole U.S. magnesium producer.

Commentary: This time, will the dragon win?

Jan 25, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 25, 2011 - Most of us have seen cheap sci-fi movies where the wounded prehistoric dragon from outer space thrashes about, making strange noises and, depending on the scene, smashing a building or two before finally and fully dying.

Organizations are often like that dragon. Think last days of Enron, the evaporation of American automakers' dominance, St. Louis' own decline as a pre-eminent American city and headquarters to global companies.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2010 - WASHINGTON - Offering fellow senators "parting advice from an old bull," Sen. Christopher S. "Kit" Bond -- who is leaving the Senate after 24 years of representing Missouri -- called Tuesday for a spirit of "work together, play nice" bipartisanship to help solve the nation's problems.

"As I look back, the successes we have achieved during my time here have always come because people were willing to reach across the aisle for the common good," said Bond, R-Mo., in his farewell speech in the Senate chamber. He mentioned his work with Democrats over the years on issues such as the Clean Air Act amendments, public housing, the National Guard and reauthorizing the Intelligence Act.