PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Farm Bill “Retaliation” Predicted for Virginia

August 27, 2007

The Farm Bill is connected to tobacco, soybeans, sheep, milk and cotton production in Virginia. However, an agronomist involved in World Trade Organization issues says it’s also connected to the growing software industry in the northern part of the state. Dan Sumner says the Farm Bill violates WTO rules because of some of the farm subsidies approved. He claims that may mean retaliations from other countries that hit industries beyond agriculture, like software.

"The whole idea of trade agreements is to open markets and let trade flow more freely, that’s what they’re all about and that’s what they’re for. That’s what we want other countries to do, too."

Sumner says the complaint about subsidies is that they bring down market prices beyond U.S. borders. Those who support subsidies say they help keep rural areas economically vibrant. Sumner says there are studies that show just the opposite, that subsidies lead to depopulation. The Senate is set to take up the Farm Bill when it returns to session in September.

Sumner says intellectual property right have been routinely ignored by other countries that see farm subsidies as a violation of trade agreements the U.S. has signed. Several WTO courts have found the U.S. guilty of not following the rules.

"We talk about trade and economics, but then when push comes to shove, we don’t actually comply with the agreements that we sign."

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - VA