Trade

Indiana’s top agricultural official will become the nation’s first undersecretary for foreign agricultural trade.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Ted McKinney to the newly-created Department of Agriculture post Tuesday.

In a statement, USDA secretary Sonny Perdue says McKinney will “wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets.”

Holcomb Departs For Trade Mission In Hungary, France

Jun 11, 2017

Eric Holcomb leaves Monday for his first international economic development trip as governor. He’ll spend 10 days in Hungary and France, hoping to shore up global ties for Indiana’s top-earning manufacturing and automotive industries.

Indiana is already a center of investment for countries that include Japan and Germany. But the Indiana Economic Development Corporation says the Hoosier State will be the first to create what it calls a “formal framework with Hungary” to promote business and trade development.

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.

Ryan Delaney/WFYI

Union leaders are shifting their focus to the election in the continuing fallout from Carrier's decision to move 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico.

They hope their message -- that bad trade deals led to the job cuts -- will send workers to the polls in November.

In the nearly six months since Carrier's announcement, unions and politicians alike have used the layoffs to argue that free trade can hurt American jobs.

Iker Merodio / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ikermerodio/4673992149

A Purdue University economist says he doesn’t think Indiana will feel much of an impact after voters in the United Kingdom elected to leave the European Union.

Jerry Lynch is a former interim dean of Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and says the state and its businesses will have to take a wait-and-see approach.

“It’s not going to be dire," Lynch says. "It has the potential, depending on the kind of agreements that get negotiated, of slowing down world growth in the economy. And if world growth slows down, Indiana is affected by it, there’s no question at all.”

Donnelly Campaign

Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) says the Export-Import Bank, which provides financing to help companies ship products overseas, is critical to the health of the U-S economy.  But he says he’s fearful a group of what he calls “ideologues” will prevent its reauthorization in Congress.

Opponents of the Export-Import Bank, including Tea Party Republicans and conservative groups such as Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity, decry it as corporate welfare.  They says it’s a gift of taxpayer dollars to bolster big companies. 

Courtesy U.S. Congress

Three weeks after the Senate fought its way to approval of fast-track trade authority, the bill is in an even tougher battle in the House.

The House could vote as early as this week on the bill allowing the White House to send the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress for an up-or-down vote, without amendments. The deal has scrambled Washington‘s usual divisions, with most Republicans backing President Obama, and Democrats leading the effort to defeat the bill.

U.S. Senate / http://www.coats.senate.gov/

Indiana Senator Dan Coats predicts the Senate will approve fast-track trade authority this week for a Pacific Rim trade deal, but says getting there may be a tough slog.  Several Democrats are defying President Obama to try to block fast-track, which would allow the administration to begin final negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and let the eventual deal come to the floor without amendments.