President Donald Trump's trade war is magnifying some of the toughest farm conditions since the crisis that bankrupted thousands of farmers in the 1980s — and threatening a constituency crucial to his reelection hopes. What are immediate realities of these policies and possible long-term effects? The report is the president's trade policies have sent US agricultural exports plunging, exacerbating already difficult economic conditions facing farmers. Average farm income has fallen to near 15-year lows under Trump, and in some areas of the country, farm bankruptcies are soaring. What impact has this trade war with China had on US farms? Let's look at soybeans. The state of play is simple. American soybean exports to China, the world's dominant importer, have been smashed this season as a direct result of China's targeted duties. China is a soybean monster. Last year, according to customs data, China imported 88 million tons of soybeans, slightly down from 95.5 million in 2017. China is the only country to hold a strategic pork reserve. The result for US producers is that this year, soybean prices have been walloped, and their major buyer has sought and received millions of tons of produce from competitors such as Brazil and Argentina.
Virginia's top three Democrats, Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and State Attorney General Mark Herring have been tainted by scandal. Northam and Herring are dealing with having donned black-face, and Fairfax is accused of sexual assault; all this came out within a four- or five-day period. Understanding the sensitive nature of these issues, we wanted to try to discuss them intelligently, respectfully and carefully to cut through the noise and political posturing and deal with the realities that these issues present.
President Trump has said ISIS/Daesh will have lost all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria by next week. He has claimed the caliphate has been decimated, and some of our great generals told him that officially we will be informed very soon that the caliphate will be 100 percent eliminated. The militant organization is a physical force, but more importantly, it's an ideology. I don't think you kill an ideology with an army. You can only kill an ideology with a better ideology. Meanwhile, US officials have said in recent weeks that Daesh has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding on to fewer than five square kilometers (fewer than two square miles) in Syria in the villages of the Middle Euphrates River Valley, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated. The president shocked the US defense establishment and foreign allies in December when he announced his plan to withdraw the US from Syria, where a group of roughly 2,000 US soldiers has been stationed.
Dr. John Wesley Boyd, Jr. — Founder and President, National Black Farmers Association.
Amina McWhirter — Founder of Love By the Handles, domestic violence survivor and victims advocated and author of Shh… No More Be Free & Live Life.
Gary Flowers — Host of The Gary Flowers Show on radio station Rejoice WREJ-AM 990. He has been executive director of the Old Dominion Bar Association, special assistant to Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, public policy analyst and coordinator of electoral observers for the 1994 elections in South Africa, vice president of programs and national field director for the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition and executive director and CEO of the Black Leadership Forum in Washington.
Mac Hamilton — Executive manager at STAND: The Student-led Movement to End Mass Atrocities.
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