Apr 8, 2011
10:54 AMThe Wind Machine
- The adverse budget situation facing our country is absorbing the full attention of elected officials and staff on Capitol Hill. Whether a political deal can be reached by tomorrow to prevent a shut-down of essential governmental services is uncertain. In my opinion, even should a shut-down occur, its immediate practical effects on agriculture will be limited. Once a budget deal is struck for the remainder of this fiscal year, which will happen at some point, it will be of great interest to identify exactly which agriculturally oriented federal programs or agencies will suffer reductions or, in the rare case, death.
- It was announced yesterday that progress has been made on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement. This negotiation has been stalled for years due to opposition by labor groups. It now appears that the Obama Administration may be ready to put its weight behind achieving U.S. Senate ratification of the measure, which, among other things, would reduce tariffs. This would help increase exports of our industry’s fruit to customers in Colombia, a country of 44 million people.
- This afternoon I depart on a family vacation. I plan to return to the office the day after Easter, provided Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers are then at work to guide the commercial airplane I will be on to a safe descent and landing at the Seattle/Tacoma International Airport.
POLITICAL FRUIT: “I think that many of you may remember that last year or I guess a couple of months ago, we said that there were going to be three bites at [the] apple here as far as spending is concerned. You have the CR discussions, the discretionary discussions for the rest of the fiscal year, we have the budget and then we have the debt limit. This week, we have two bites at the apple coming together.” Eric Cantor, Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, talking to reporters on April 5, 2011.