Monday, October 15, 2018

Members in the News: Countryman, Wilson, de Brauw, Minot, Langemeier, Mintert, Fan, Grant, Laborde, and Boyle

Amanda Countryman, Colorado State University
How is ‘new NAFTA’ different? A trade expert explains
Written by Amanda Countryman: The Conversation - October 2, 2018
On Sept. 30, the U.S., Canada and Mexico reached a deal to scrap NAFTA and replace it with a new trade accord, narrowly meeting a self-imposed deadline for consensus.
Although U.S. President Donald Trump plans to sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 60 days, the new accord has a long road ahead as lawmakers in all three countries must still pass it before it goes into effect.
Still it is an astounding feat, considering Mexico and the U.S. were all but ready to go ahead with their own deal without Canada only a month ago, after a year of three-party negotiations. And Trump repeatedly said he was ready to scrap the deal entirely, which in my opinion would have been the worst outcome.
Read more on: The Conversation and Chicago Tribune

William Wilson, North Dakota State University
ND ag bankers riding the ‘black swan’
By: Capital Journal - October 7, 2018
“What’s happened as a result of the Trump trade war is the basis in Brazil went through the roof. On average, the basis from Brazil is about 40 cents, indicating weaker demand. Today, it’s $2.80 per bushel,” Wilson said.
“Because of Trump, or the Trump tariffs … because of this China tariff thing, is that, as we speak, there are eight new export elevators being built in Brazil,” Wilson said.
Read more on: Capital Journal

Alan de Brauw, International Food Policy Research Institute
Nicholas Minot, International Food Policy Research Institute
Great expectations from Ethiopia’s Wheat Initiative
Written by Gashaw Tadesse Abate, Tanguy Bernard, Alan de Brauw and Nicholas Minot: Thomson Reuters Foundation News - October 9, 2018
Small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa often experience lower yields, and efforts to increase them have sprouted throughout Africa. Many farmers fail to adopt modern inputs or farming techniques that would increase productivity due to several constraints, such as lack of available technology, limited liquidity, high perceived risk, constrained access to information, and poorly functioning output markets. Initiating reforms given this background is a slow process. Any new intervention to address these concerns, however, dramatically raises the expectation of national governments, and undervalues modest but significant gains from such interventions.
Ethiopia provides a clear example of agricultural underperformance, as the country’s wheat production has consistently lagged other African nations. In 2012, Ethiopia’s wheat yields were 29 percent below neighboring Kenya, 13 percent below the African average, and 32 percent below the global average.
Read more on: Thomson Reuters Foundation News and AllAfrica

Michael Langemeier, Purdue University
James Mintert, Purdue University
US: Trade uncertainty, financial outlook drop ag industry expectations
By: Feed Navigator - October 8, 2018
Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture and the CME Group released details they gathered about U.S. agricultural economy for their September Ag Economy Barometer last week. The report surveys a nationwide selection of 400 agricultural producers regarding their perspectives on the industry.
The scores for the sentiment-based barometer have been "unusually volatile" for the past few months, said report authors Jim Mintert, director of the center for commercial agriculture and professor in the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University and Michael Langemeier, professor in the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University.
Read more on: Feed Navigator

Shenggen Fan, International Food Policy Research Institute
Agriculture R&D spend: A reality check
By: The Hindu BusinessLine - October 11, 2018
More importantly, the spending on agri R&D would lead to sustainable development with comparatively more equal distribution of resources. According to Shenggen Fan, Director-General of the Washington DC-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), agriculture is key to meeting half of the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets set for 2030. These SDG targets include eliminating poverty and hunger and reducing inequalities.
Read more on: The Hindu BusinessLine

Jason Grant, Virginia Tech
Tariffs on imports from China has impact close to home
By: Virginia First - October 5, 2018
'We have an agreement with Canada and Mexico, and we're in talks with the EU, but China is still that sticking point and agriculture gets caught in the crossfire," says Jason Grant, director of The Center for Agricultural Trade at Virginia Tech.
Many are optimistic that talks will continue, until negotiations can be reached.
"The hope is that the two countries will come together and create bilateral negotiations, a compromise that works for both countries," says Grant.
Read more on: Virginia First

David Laborde, International Food Policy Research Institute
New study tracks agricultural progress and how successful guidelines can be replicated
By: Far Eastern Agriculture - October 11, 2018
David Laborde, senior fellow, IFPRI, explains, “Only 10 countries are still categorised by subsistence agriculture, compared with 30 in 1970. Except for countries at war, no country is worse off than they were decades ago.”
“Our report is a clear indication that agricultural transformation fosters economic empowerment for countries and their communities,” Laborde added.
Read more on: Far Eastern Agriculture

Kevin Boyle, Virginia Tech
Professor condemn EPA committee closure
By: Yale Daily News - September 3, 2018
In June 2018, the EPA shut down three of its advisory committees. The Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, one of the committees shut down, counseled the organization on issues ranging from economics to engineering. The Aug. 24 article, which ran in the journal Science and was written by Yale economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Virginia Tech economics professor Kevin Boyle, questioned the EPA’s commitment to thorough economic analysis. Furthermore, the article cites examples in which differing valuation of environmental costs and benefits could impact the protection of the natural environment.
“There’s likely to be less accountability and certainly less scientific credibility of the decision-making by closing down the economics advisory committee, and I would say that the same applies to the other two that were shut down,” said Boyle, who focuses on agricultural and applied economics.
Read more on: Yale Daily News

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*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

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