trade

Farmers and agriculture groups are digging through the details of the new North American trade deal, called the United States Canada Mexico Agreement, and some are raising concerns that clash with the celebratory mood of the three countries’ leaders.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Trade was at the top of the agenda at Thursday's 4th Congressional District candidate forum in Pratt.

Republican incumbent Ron Estes and Democratic candidate James Thompson spoke on health care, immigration and taxes — they don't agree on any of those issues — but many of the forum’s questions focused on trade and tariffs.

President Donald Trump has reached a tentative trade deal with Mexico, and now the focus of tariff talks shifts to Canada.

It’s a high-stakes situation for Kansas industry because Canada is the top export market for the state.

Kansas exports totaled more than $11 billion in 2017, led by agricultural products, aircraft and airplane parts. Nearly $2.5 billion of those exports went to Canada. The other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico, was the second biggest market for Kansas exports, at nearly $2 billion.

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A Kansas trade expert says a new U.S. trade agreement with Mexico could help grow Kansas companies and the economy of south-central Kansas.

Karyn Page, president of Kansas Global Trade Services, says the tentative agreement announced Monday is a sign that trade negotiations are moving forward.

Representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada began talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more than a year ago. The trilateral trade pact was implemented in 1994 to eliminate barriers to trade and investment.

Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is warning that Trump administration trade policies could trigger a recession.

Koch lashed out at President Donald Trump's brewing international trade war during a private weekend gathering in Colorado of hundreds of conservative donors.

Koch, chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, told reporters that "protectionism at any level" is "detrimental."

He said Trump's approach, "if it's severe enough," could lead to a recession.

The trade war has come home to roost among U.S. farmers and ranchers whose livelihoods are targeted by tariffs from China, Mexico and Canada. The U.S. Department of Agriculture did something about it Tuesday, announcing it'll spend up to $12 billion in aid, including direct payments to growers. 

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

Harvest Public Media/File photo

A blossoming trade war between the United States and China could have a big impact on Kansas farmers and businesses.

President Donald Trump has made good on his threat to slap an additional 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. In turn, Chinese officials have committed to retaliatory tariffs in the same amount. But while U.S. tariffs are focused on tech products, Chinese tariffs will likely focus on agricultural goods.

Two of the nation’s most influential players in agriculture policy, at a meeting in the heart of the country’s Grain Belt on Wednesday, tried to ease worries about the pending farm bill and a budding trade war with China.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Congress has passed a $1.3 trillion spending bill that’ll keep the federal government running. In that package, which President Donald Trump signed on Friday, is a fix for a troublesome provision for some grain businesses.

Passed in last year’s tax overhaul, the provision allows farmers to deduct up to 20 percent of their earnings from selling crops — but only to cooperatives. That threatens businesses that aren’t co-ops but also buy and sell commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat, including large companies like Cargill and Bunge to small, local grain elevators.

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