Generally speaking, pork barrel politics amounts to politicians trading favors to constituents or special interest groups for political support, often as campaign contributions. Pork barrel spending, better known as earmarks in federal spending bills, have surged in 2018. Who may be profiting this year? Smithfield Foods.
ByPam Dempsey, Anna Casey and Dave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
As China and the U.S. swap threats of import taxes on billions of dollars of goods, financial markets fluctuated and farmers are frustrated, saying they worry over hard-built trade relationships with one of their largest customers.
ByPam Dempsey and Dave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Argentina and Brazil may fill China’s soybean needs if China imposes a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean exports. And experts say : “China is the world’s largest consumer, and the U.S. is the largest producer, … so they’ll need to replace the U.S. with some other country,”
ByStaff of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Earlier this month, the U.S. and China both announced billions of dollars in taxes on billions of dollars worth of imported goods - China is seeking tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products that include soybeans and pork while the U.S. announced taxes on $150 billion worth of 1,300 Chinese products, including electronics. Here’s a look at what farm organizations in the Midwest have to say.
ByPam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Congressional leaders said they would explore federal help for farmers should tariffs be put in place but Tamara Nelson, senior director of commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said the moves would not help. “Farmers don’t want aid, farmers want to be able to trade,” she said.
As Dave Dickey writes, U.S. grain and oilseed farmers, specialty crop growers and pork producers are hoping that China and U.S. leadership pull back their reins on the potential for a full-blown trade war that could cripple U.S. gross domestic product.
ByJohnathan Hettinger and Robert Holly with additional reporting by Jelter Meers/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Over the past decade, foreign companies have been investing in agricultural land in the United States at a record pace, according to a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of USDA data. The data was compiled from 1900 to 2014 under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA).