International Trade

President Donald Trump is Japan this week and told Japanese business leaders they should make more cars in the U.S., and import less. He also thanked companies that already do business in America, including ones with a huge footprint in Indiana.

Indiana’s top agriculture official has been tapped to oversee global farm trade for the Trump administration.

Indiana Department of Agriculture director Ted McKinney now faces a Senate confirmation to become the USDA’s first-ever trade undersecretary.

He says he’s grateful for the support he’s received since getting the news.

“I am so honored to be nominated by the president, and I look forward to serving if confirmed,” McKinney says.

As Indiana farmers hurry through planting season – the corn crop is nearly three-quarters planted as of Monday, with soybeans nearly half done – they’re also watching big changes at the USDA.

The department is reorganizing its trade and rural development programs, while the White House takes aim at those issues in its own way.

 

Generations of farmers, agronomists, lawmakers and other alumni of Purdue’s College of Agriculture met for their annual Fish Fry, amid a lot of political and economic uncertainty for the farm industry.

That fact wasn’t lost on the hundreds of Purdue agriculture alumni who flocked to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.

Most of them rely on farm exports to Mexico, China and other countries where President Donald Trump has pledged to reform trade deals. And Indiana Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney says it’s on people’s minds.

Indiana’s $11 billion farming sector is hoping to benefit under President Donald Trump.

The new commander-in-chief has threatened some trade deals that agriculture relies on. But many in the industry hope his nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture will have a different take.

Sonny Perdue is a former Georgia governor and commercial farming veteran. His home state is known for cotton, peanuts and livestock, not corn and soybeans.

But Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Soybean Alliance CEO, says Perdue still has a background in cash crops.

 

President-elect Donald Trump is doubling down on his criticisms of U.S. trade relationships with China and Mexico, which has some wondering if a trade war is in the works.

Purdue University economist Larry DeBoer says the hallmark of a trade war is retaliation.

For example, higher U.S. taxes on Chinese steel imports could make China chooser to buy fewer American products, including those from Indiana, like soybeans or engine parts.

But DeBoer says even threat of a trade war is already affecting Hoosiers.

Andrew Priest / https://www.flickr.com/photos/aushiker/23717325825

Congress could be asked to vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as soon as September -- even while both presidential candidates oppose the trade deal, and manufacturing workers rally against it.

However, the agreement has support from most manufacturing business owners -- as well as support from another of Indiana's most trade-reliant industries: agriculture.

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The U.S. Commerce Department is using a new monitoring system to shed light on how steel moves around the world.

Industry watchers say it could drive long-term policy changes to protect American steel from the effects of foreign trade.

 

The first installment of the new Global Steel Trade Monitor ranked China first in the world for steel exports, and the U.S. first for imports.

Joe Brunner / YouTube

Global trade's impact on Indiana jobs has made headlines this election season -- and so far this year, high numbers of Hoosier workers have also qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs.

 

Estimates from the Department of Workforce Development show that, in the last six months, more Indiana workers have qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs than in any of the past five years -- more than 3,200 since Jan. 1.

 

Center for Land Use Interpretation

A federal commission is launching an investigation into whether China stole trade secrets to fix steel prices.

 

It's a major victory for Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, which made the complaint that sparked the probe.

The major Northwest Indiana employer alleges that China broke the law to flood the steel market with cheap exports -- that it drove down American steel prices and cost thousands of U.S. jobs.

 

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