Russia, China Pose Challenges for U.S. Agriculture

U.S. Agriculture faces energy and trade challenges amid continuing developments with Russia and China.

The U.S. imported more oil and oil products from Russia last year than Saudi Arabia—not good for energy-intensive U.S. Agriculture, if Russia restricts oil exports in response to U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Ag Senator Chuck Grassley argues gas prices will continue to soar, unless President Biden reverses moves to restrict U.S. production. “Reinstitute the XL Pipeline, allow drilling on the North Slope of Alaska, offshore Alaska, offshore Gulf, offshore Atlantic, allow drilling on public lands, and take the restrictions off of fracking—and E15, year-round.”

The White House is reportedly considering, instead, releasing more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and an apparently moribund idea for a gas tax holiday that would further reduce highway revenues.

Separately, China has fallen $16 billion short on its Phase I trade deal commitments to buy more US Ag goods. But Grassley is wary about sanctions to force China’s compliance. “I don’t care about penalties, I just care that China makes up the loss of the 16 billion, and whatever more tens of billions that they didn’t of manufacturing and energy.”

Several House Republicans urged President Biden, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to fix the trade imbalance, enforce the Phase I deal and seek damages from China.

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