Chuck Grassley

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The first phase of a new trade agreement between the United States and China is scheduled for a White House signing ceremony Wednesday, and many in the agriculture community are hoping the deal will bring some relief to the farm economy.

The Phase One agreement will begin to resolve the nearly two year exchange of tariffs the two countries have levied on each other’s goods—the United States in an attempt, the Trump administration says, to pressure China to reform some of its trade policies and China in retaliation.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

A much-anticipated update to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement is one step closer to implementation.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, voted 25-3 to approve the United States Mexico Canada Agreement. Two Republicans and one Democrat cast the "no" votes.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

Congress has reached a deal to keep the federal government open, pending a final vote in the Senate that’s expected this week. The spending bill also addresses many additional provisions, including the extension of some tax credits that had lapsed.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, worked late into the night Monday to Tuesday finalizing a deal on the so-called tax extenders.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

As the closure of the comment period on an Environmental Protection Agency rule regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) approaches at the end of the month, farm state lawmakers and biofuels advocates continue their push for a deal they say the president promised them.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The comment period is open on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed fix to the ethanol demand it has tinkered with in recent months.

For weeks, the ethanol industry has pressed the federal government to formally account for gallons it exempted small refineries from blending when the EPA approved 31 small refinery waivers.

Amy Mayer / Iowa Public Radio

The United States and Canada must ratify an agreement that Mexico has already approved to put into place a trade deal the three countries negotiated to update and replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

Iowa’s senior senator has some harsh words for the Environmental Protection Agency following its decision to release more than two dozen small oil refineries from their obligations to blend ethanol into gasoline.

John Pemble / IPR file

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are back at the negotiating table to continue talks about trade with China.

Their meeting in Shanghai with Chinese counterparts comes a day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened the sign-up period for farmers seeking aid to mitigate the impact of tariffs on their exports.

It’s been two months since the countries last met to discuss trade and in the interim, China had agreed to buy some U.S. agricultural products, but those sales have not yet begun.

Kate Payne/IPR

Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator visited business owners and residents impacted by flooding in eastern Iowa Friday. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) heard from community leaders in the cities of Davenport and Buffalo, which were hit by record high crests of the Mississippi River.

John Pemble / IPR file photo

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is hopeful about the direction of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China, even after President Trump announced plans to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. Iowa's senior senator said it’s a good sign that negotiators from the two countries are still planning to meet in Washington this week to discuss a potential deal.

Amy Mayer / IPR file photo

Iowa’s senior senator met with the U.S. secretary of energy this week to better understand details around how small oil refineries secure waivers exempting them from the national biofuels law.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Rick Perry clarified for him that the Department of Energy can offer input, but it’s the Environmental Protection Agency that grants the waivers. Grassley said E.P.A. Administrator Andrew Wheeler is not obligated to do what the energy department recommends.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will soon have an acting leader, after the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. One of Iowa’s U.S. senators is concerned about turnover in the department. Homeland Security will join a number of agencies with temporary directors.