Passing Free Trade & Ford Financial Debt

Passing Free Trade & Ford Financial Debt

Passing Free Trade & Ford Financial Debt plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

President Obama’s just-unveiled trade agenda calls for Congress to ratify the smallest of three pending trade deals first and not to give up on the Doha global trade round. The Panama Free Trade Agreement is the smallest in value for U.S. agriculture of those pending. The others are Colombia and South Korea. But Paul Drazek - former USDA Trade Adviser in the Clinton years - who still advises USDA on trade - says Panama - politically speaking - is easier to pass with larger Democratic majorities in Congress this year.

DRAZEK: It’s possible that the new administration and the Congress would prefer to take on Panama first because it’s pretty easy and if nothing else they can later on – if they never do approve any of the others say, “See we’re not protectionist after all, we did approve Panama.”

Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will try to eliminate up to $10.4 billion of its debt by offering debtholders cash and stock as the troubled automaker continues to restructure amid a severe automotive sales downturn. The company and its financial arm are putting up $2.2 billion in cash and about 500 million shares of stock to entice holders of bonds and secured-term debt into the swap. Reducing the debt will cut the amount it pays in interest and put it in better position to compete with General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

At the risk of revealing my age I’m going to quote a 1970’s advertisement, “You’ve come a long way baby”. In this instance I’m referring to women in the agriculture industry.  Studies show that it is no longer just a man’s world when it comes to running a farming or ranching operation. More and more women are finding that they truly enjoy the role of being the sole operator of a farming business. Of course there have always been women throughout the ages who have successfully done this, but generally they have had to step in as principal farm operators due to the absence or loss of a male counterpart. Today however finds women drawn to the agriculture industry not because they have to but because they choose to and actually enjoy the agricultural lifestyle. The national census shows that women operate nearly a fourth of all farming or ranching operations in the nation, and the numbers continue to grow. That being said, the only thing I can add is, “You go girl”.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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