2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference Day 3

Sponsored and Hosted by The Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics Session Descriptions


Thursday, November 12, 2020: Trade and Macroeconomy Outlooks 12:00- 2:00 P.M. EST


Day three of the 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference will focus on trade during a global pandemic, transformations in China and the implications for global trade, and the influence that the US election may have on the global economy. Few topics have been studied and debated as much as international trade in recent memory. More specifically, there has been rapid growth of the Chinese economy and its influence on global trade, along with a slide by the US, China, and other countries towards more protectionist trade policies. What is the outlook for the U.S. in an era where there has been a shift from multilateral to bilateral management of both trade and trade disputes? Add in a global pandemic that has shocked markets, slowed economic growth, and decreased consumer confidence - how does the U.S. economy adapt to these impacts? With the shift to bilateralism, the U.S. and China agreed to a Phase 1 deal in January 2020, putting specific targets on Chinese purchases of U.S. commodities, energy, manufactured goods, and services. The legalstatus of this deal and managing trade, remains an issue, but will it matter?


Ian Sheldon, Professor in AEDE and Andersons Chair of Agricultural Marketing, Trade, and Policy, will kick off session three discussing the impact of the pandemic on global and U.S. trade as well as commenting on the direction of U.S. trade policy post-election. Included in Dr. Sheldon’s presentation is an assessment of how agricultural trade has fared after three years of a trade war with China and the pandemic.


Wendong Zhang, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist from Iowa State University, will cover agricultural transformations in China and how they could impact global trade. China had been the United States third largest trading partner for food and agricultural products behind Canada and Mexico prior to the increase in tariffs in 2018.


Mark Partridge, Professor in AEDE and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy will round out the presentations with an outlook on the U.S. economy post-election. Large increases in federal stimulus through interest rate cuts, federal infusions of cash, and increases to the Federal Reserve Bank’s balance sheet have stabilized the economy in the short-run, but what does this mean as the U.S. economy recovers?


The session concludes with a panel discussion titled “Impacts and Importance of Global Trade on our Businesses, Communities and Livelihoods” moderated by OSU Extension Educator Mike Estadt. Panelists include Blake Haudan- Senior Trade Manager at The Andersons Inc., Kirk Merritt- Executive Director of the Ohio Soybean Association and Ohio Soybean Council, and Allison Nepveux- Manager of Trade Policy with the U.S. Grains Council. The panel will cover how trade impacts agriculture, how sustainability fits within trade, and the ways trade is adapting to changing international policies.


The 2020 Agricultural Policy and Outlook Conference will be offered virtually, free of charge. Information about all sessions and registration can be found at: go.osu.edu/aedeoutlook