A federal program that anchorsa major part of Georgia’s farm economy is currently under fireas the United States prepares its future farm policy to complywith freer trade in the world.Since the 1930s, the U.S. government has run a peanut programthat controls domestic supply and demand through a quota and pricesupport system.In the past, this program had little effect on world trade, andworld trade had little effect on it, said Nathan Smith, an economistwith the University of Georgia Extension Service.Going to Change The World Trade Organization believes government subsidies distortfree world trade, Smith said.WTO considers a domestic program a “trade distorter”if it supports the number of acres of a commodity planted or theamount or price of the crop.Even though the current peanut program is considered a no-net-costprogram, the WTO says it’s a barrier against open world trade.The peanut program costs the United States in trade negotiations.”The WTO says the current program distorts world trade by$347 million,” Smith said.Under WTO rules, the United States has agreed to limit its spendingon agricultural trade-distorting programs to $19.1 billion. Thisis referred to as “amber box” spending, which includesthe current peanut program, Smith said.In WTO terminology, different types of spending go into different color boxes. Spending that distorts trade goes into the amber box. Spending that does not distort trade goes into a green box.Peanut Proposals The U.S. peanut industry is considering two major proposals.One proposes to stimulate the purchase of U.S. peanuts in theworld market. Peanuts would receive a price support similar tothe current program, Smith said. Processors would buy U.S. peanutsat the world price, and the government would make up the differencebetween the domestic price and the world price.”This program would modify the current program but not moveit out of the amber box,” Smith said.A second program would be a marketing loan option. Other majorU.S. crops such as corn and cotton are under this type of program.The government would still make payments to compensate for worldprices. But the program would not be tied to production controland would fit under WTO trade rules, Smith said.Whatever the outcome, he said, Georgia peanut farmers can expectchanges in the federal program that has governed their industryfor a long time. “But the peanut program doesn’t fit with the current (U.S.)trade policies,” Smith said. “The program is going tochange. But by how much? That’s the question right now.”Any changes to the current peanut program will affect Georgia’seconomy, Smith said. Peanuts contribute about $400 million a yearto Georgia’s farm economy and about $800 million in economic activityfor the state. Georgia grows about 40 percent of U.S. peanuts.It will be another year and half before the next farm bill isimplemented. But the House Agricultural Committee is now preparingthe part that will affect the peanut program, Smith said. Theyhope to have the basis ironed out by June.How will a domestic peanut program fit into a farm bill that encouragesmore open world trade?Competing with The World Unchecked free trade would hurt the domestic peanut industry,Smith said. High tariffs keep the U.S. peanut market from beingflooded by foreign peanuts. But these tariffs will be loweredin the future and allow more peanuts to be imported.The Free Trade Areas of America recently met in Canada to discussfurther expansion of free trade for all of the Western Hemisphere.This agreement includes open trade with peanut-producing countriessuch as Argentina and Nicaragua.Farmers in these countries have much lower input costs than U.S.growers have. They can sell their peanuts cheap. “And thosecountries would have access to our market,” Smith said. Peanutfarming in Georgia would be cut drastically.Trade Distorter
The University of Vermont Transportation Research Center has just released the 2010 Vermont Transportation Energy Report, a comprehensive look at transportation energy use and expenditures in the state. This annual report provides policy makers with relevant and timely data on topics related to transportation energy use, including levels of fuel consumption, trends in vehicle fleet composition and Vermonters’ travel patterns. The large percentage of energy consumed and emissions generated by the transportation sector in Vermont makes it an important policy focus within the state.The 2010 Vermont Transportation Energy Report estimates that total expenditures on transportation were almost $4 billion dollars in that year, comprising approximately 15 percent of Vermont’s economy. More than a billion dollars of this spending was for the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuels. Municipal spending on transportation was also sizable, on average comprising 41 percent of each town’s budget. Vehicle purchases continued to climb in 2010, especially hybrid vehicles, which now comprise 4 percent of the state’s fleet. Additional analysis in this report estimates the feasibility of electric vehicles to meet Vermonters’ travel needs: 68- 96 percent of vehicles could be substituted with electric vehicles even with no away-from-home charging infrastructure. Financial savings of such a fuel switch could be substantial. At 2010 prices, the total annual energy costs for an entirely electric fleet would be approximately $274 million for the state of Vermont, less than a third the amount spent on petroleum fuels in 2010.The Vermont Transportation Energy Report is a yearly publication of the UVM Transportation Research Center and the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition (VCCC), whose mission is to reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuels for transportation. The University of Vermont Transportation Research Center has served as the host of the VCCC since July 2007. Nationwide, there are 87 local Clean Cities Coalitions in 46 states. VCCC stakeholders include fleet managers, state and local officials, auto dealers, students, and academics.For more information please contact Jody Ciano, TRC Communications Professional.To view the report, please click here. Vermont Transportation Energy Report 2010. 9.13.2011
continue reading » COVID-19 has had an unimaginable impact on nearly every aspect of daily life for consumers and businesses alike around the world. Currently, the disease shows no sign of slowing down, and the concern for how this will impact American lives and businesses continues to grow. With the rising concern of the economy, the U.S. Congress has responded in a big way, negotiating a historic, bi-partisan $2 trillion stimulus package in hopes of breathing life into our struggling economy.The stimulus package will offer relief to consumers and businesses alike, and like most legislation, can be complex, so we’ll outline some of the major provisions that will impact businesses in today’s blog post.What is included in the stimulus package?The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is the largest economic stimulus package in modern history. The bill includes $2 trillion in tax provisions and other stimulus measures, including emergency business lending. The infusion of cash promises to provide assistance for struggling American businesses and families, as well as healthcare workers that are standing on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Next season of BiH Football Premier League should start earlier than usual, and the first round should be played on 20 July, and in the autumn part of the league, 19 rounds should be played, reports sportsport.baHaving in mind that the Football World Cup is next year, and that BiH team is likely to qualify, Football Federation of BiH has decided to start the next football season a bit earlier.Spring part of the season would start on 1 March, and in mid-May the last round would be played.This year’s winner was football club ‘Željezničar’.