Tales from the Trail

from Commodity Corner:

If only trade talks went this quick…

March 10, 2009

KirkCall it the Congressional version of the lightning round.

Ron Kirk, the Obama administration's choice for U.S. Trade Representative, had a rapid-fire confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday that lasted no longer than 45 minutes.

The First Draft: A Beauty Way to Go

February 19, 2009

Good day you hosers!

President Barack Obama takes off to the Great White North today on his first foreign jaunt as president. Trade will top the agenda in Ottawa as Obama seeks to ease concerns about protectionism. He’ll also discuss the war in Afghanistan and clean energy technology with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian Parlaiment, but the one-day trip leaves little time to get into details. Too bad, eh?CANADA-MOUNTIES/

Palin’s apple picking lesson: It’s about immigration, not China

October 31, 2008

NEW PARIS, Penn. – What is the biggest competition for an apple orchard owner in rural Pennsylvania?
 
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin thought she knew the answer when talking to Matthew Boyer of Boyer Orchards.
 
“So is your competition imports from China?” Palin asked Boyer, as she stood in a barn in front of bushels of all different kinds of freshly picked apples at the family-owned orchard.
 
Not quite.
 
While it’s true that China is a huge apple producer and the United States’ share of world exports continues to decline, competition from China wasn’t Boyer’s biggest concern.
 
Boyer told Palin he was more worried about apples from Washington state, which produces some 60 percent of the apples grown in the United States.
 
In fact, the issue on Boyer’s mind was immigration.
 
Boyer employs migrants to pick his apples, and it is becoming harder to find people willing and able to do the work.
 
“We need workers. We can’t get any local person for it. It’s hard work,” he said.
 
“It’s increasingly difficult to find legal help. People don’t understand this immigration issue.”
 
Palin quickly turned the conversation to one of her preferred topics — the need to cut taxes, especially for small business owners.

Obama visit to North Carolina restaurant stirs mixed emotions

October 20, 2008

obama-bbq.jpgFAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – There was a sharp exchange among patrons during Barack Obama‘s visit to a barbecue restaurant on Sunday, highlighting the strong emotions the U.S. presidential race is stirring in the final weeks of the campaign.