ALTOONA, Wis (WEAU) -- The Trump Administration has raised the stakes in our trade war with China. This week the administration said it was planning to put another 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese products. But these new tariffs won't take effect for about 2 months-or until the administration can hold a series of public comment sessions on the plan. Those public comment periods are set to run August 20th through the 23rd. The new tariffs would be in addition to the $50 billion in tariffs the U.S. put on Chinese goods earlier. Officials in the Trump Administration said the new fees would hit televisions, clothing, bed sheets and air conditioners. Chinese officials said more tariffs would be "totally unacceptable" and they would respond accordingly.
All those tariffs are making members of Congress, especially Republicans, nervous as the fall elections get closer. Yesterday, after that announcement on possibly more tariffs on Chinese products, the Senate voted 88 to 11 on a bill that would provide Congress a role in making future decisions on tariffs. On the House side, Republican leaders said they would take a wait and see attitude on the issue.
The USDA will release its July Crop Production and Supply and Demand report later this morning. And it's expected to show increases in both the corn and soybean crops across the country. Pre-report estimates have corn production increasing from earlier estimates of 174 bushels per acre to over 175 bushels an acre as most states are reporting the corn crop looks as good or better than it has in the past 20 years. The total crop is estimated to come in over 14.3 billion bushels. That would also result in ending corn stocks going as high as 1.73 billion bushels. Pre-report estimates also have the soybean crop increasing by over 3 bushels per acre from the June report-to about 48.8 bushels per acre with the total crop being over 4.3 billion bushels. Traders expect ending soybean stocks to be up slightly from last month's estimates to around 507 million bushels. The report comes out at 11 o'clock our time.
In regards to the release of future USDA reports, there will be some changes. Currently reporters and others close to the business are locked up in a room at USDA with no way to communicate the information that they get about an hour and half before the official release. Starting with the August report that will not be the case. USDA officials say that because of technological advances, the old system gave some people a marketing advantage over the general public. Next month's report will now be released to everyone interested in the numbers at the same time.
Today is the last day of what has been a very successful Wisconsin Farm Technology days in Wood County. Officials no longer release official crowd estimates but they do say the first 2 days of the show have seen some of the biggest crowds in recent history. Yesterday Governor Scott Walker was on the grounds to announce that 31 people have been selected to serve on a dairy task force which will meet over about the next year to come up with ideas to help struggling dairy farmers. One of the highlights today will be getting to meet Green Bay Packers linebacker Vince Biegel who grew up on a Wood County cranberry farm. He will be in the Future Generations tent starting at 10 o'clock. Gates will again open at 9 this morning and the show will close at 4 this afternoon. Next year's show will be in Jefferson county.