ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- There's no question the United States is the 500 pound gorilla in the room when it comes to trade-everybody wants access to the U.S. market. And so trade negotiators from the 11 countries still involved in the Trans Pacific partnership Free Trade Agreement are trying to finish up their negotiations with an eye to hopefully luring the U.S. back into the deal. Remember President Trump opted the U.S. out of the negotiations shortly after taking office. Those negotiators are working on issues important to U.S. participation-better market access, including tariff elimination as well as better access for services and investment.
President Trump's nomination of Iowa native Sam Clovis to be Undersecretary of Agriculture for Research, Education and Economics may be in trouble. That's because as a former campaign supervisor during the Trump campaign for president, he reportedly encouraged another campaign official, George Papadopoulos, to go to Moscow and meet with Russian officials. According to sources at DTN, Clovis has been meeting regularly with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the issue and has been "cooperative" according to senators on that committee. But this latest issue may be enough to derail Clovis' nomination since he has already been attacked because he has no science background or training to be the USDA's top scientist and also because farm state senators, including Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas, are concerned because Clovis said earlier that crop insurance may be unconstitutional. With all that being said, the senate has set a tentative date of November 9th for a hearing on Clovis' nomination.
The average Class 3 milk price for Wisconsin farmers in September was $18.30 a hundred-10 cents higher than August and 30 cents more than last September. That's also 50 cents a hundred more than the average price received by dairy farmers in other parts of the country. Dairy farmers in14 of the top 23 milk producing states saw their milk checks shrink from their August pay price. The highest September milk price was in Pennsylvania--$19-followed by Texas at $18.80 a hundred. California had the lowest price in September at $16.45, with Michigan next lowest at $16.50 and New Mexico at $16.60. Minnesota farmers got $17.90 for their milk last month.
Governor Scott Walker took his cabinet north last week and announced his rural agenda for Wisconsin while at a Northern Economic and Community Development Summit in Trego. The governor said that after listening to the needs of northern communities, he is going to push for increased investments in education, expanding broadband access, improving rural health care and making state resources more easily available. For the agricultural community, Walker said he wants to increase our exports and fully put in place the manufacturing and agricultural production tax credit. He also said he wants to have the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection be in charge of the technical issues involved with larger farms rather than the Department of Natural Resources. But he still hasn't given any indication who he plans to name as the state's next Secretary of Agriculture.