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Taiwan and More

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block.

Taiwan – Let us keep in mind that China claims the island of Taiwan as part of China.  But the citizens of Taiwan do not see it that way.  Eleven men and women between the ages of 16 and 33 bought a speed boat and departed Hong Kong headed toward Taiwan.  They were risking their lives to escape the Chinese dominance of citizens of Hong Kong.  Well, they did not make it to Taiwan.  The Chinese Coast Guard intercepted them and now they face charges of illegally entering Chinese waters.  I am afraid that China’s strangle hold on Hong Kong will only get worse.

With all of this in mind, U.S. relations with Taiwan will only get stronger.  We can expect more trade talks with Taiwan.  They just agreed to buy more pork and beef from the U.S.  With all the disputes that we have with China “Senior U.S. and Chinese officials just announced that they are committed to carry out phase-one trade accord between the two nations.”  Keep your fingers crossed.

Turn to food – It was just announced that 75 million family food boxes have been delivered to needy families.  In addition, President Trump announced an additional $1 billion to provide more food boxes through September and October.  Food to needy families is so important.  Biofuels – corn farmers and the ag industry cannot get EPA to stop giving small refineries an exemption so they can avoid blending biofuels.  That cuts demand for ethanol and weighs on corn prices.  President Trump has promised to review this problem.  I do not expect any decision until after the election.  A new study led by a team of plant scientists and engineers “predicts significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technology.”

The National Academy of Science tells us “we can expect net greenhouse gas irrigation and negative emissions.”  That is encouraging.

John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go online to

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