Cotton Prices Push Acreage and Pruitt Promises "Rule of Law"
** Expecting higher prices, U.S. cotton farmers are planning to sow 12.2 million acres this year, up 21 percent from last year.
Friday's USDA report says the estimate is also up from the 11.5 million acres predicted at February's annual Outlook Forum.
Most other major crops stayed close to those estimates.
Wheat planted is estimated at 46.1 million acres, down 8 percent from 2016, but would be the lowest total planted in the U.S. since records began in 1919.
**EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he will return "the rule of law" to his agency. Speaking last week to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association/Public Lands Council Legislative Conference, Pruitt mentioned President Trump's signing of an executive order "to get rid of the Waters of the United States rule," which EPA quickly followed with a notice of intent in the Federal Register to "review and rescind or revise" the WOTUS rule.
Pruitt says, "We can only do that which Congress says we can do."
** President Trump signed a pair of executive orders late last week about trade. One of them calls for a report on the causes of trade deficits the U.S. has with sixteen of its trading partners. Another provides for the collection of anti-dumping duties owed to the U.S.
The report on the reasons for trade deficits will look into whether the WTO failed to enforce trade rules, or whether trade shortfalls are the result of currency manipulation.