Author Archives: Tim Burrack


Nicaragua Dreams of Building a Canal for the Ships of Tomorrow

Nicaragua Dreams of Building a Canal for the Ships of Tomorrow

The Panama Canal almost was the Nicaragua Canal. A little more than a century ago, the United States came close to building “the path between the seas” to the north of Panama’s narrow isthmus. If an ambitious Nicaraguan politician and Chinese billionaire have their way, however, a new waterway may yet connect the Atlantic and […]

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in Beijing

The Truth About Technology & Trade With China

Tensions around the Pacific Rim have taken a sharp turn for the worse, ever since China declared a new air-defense zone and projected its power over a small set of islands in the East China Sea. Vice President Joe Biden rushed to Beijing to confer with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but nothing seems to have […]


Constitutional Support for a Strong Trade Agenda

In the Declaration of Independence, American revolutionaries listed their grievances against the British king. Among his offenses, they said, was “cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world.” What a shame that a few members of Congress now think that another of our founding documents stands in the way of modern trade policy. […]


The Ill-Regulatory USDA

Shortly before last week’s long U.S. Independence Day weekend, the Obama administration announced that it would delay the employer-mandate portion of the new health-care law for another year. Some pundits suggested a political motive, saying that the White House wants to suspend the unpopular requirement until after next year’s congressional elections. Yet almost nobody pointed […]


The USDA of Europe

When Americans speculate that the United States is “becoming Europe,” we don’t mean that our art museums are getting a lot better. Instead, we worry about the encroachments of a growing bureaucracy that is smothering freedom and innovation. Last Friday, in an unexpected announcement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture took an unfortunate step toward Europeanization […]


Trade Barriers: An Unnatural Disaster

Late is better than never: President Obama finally has requested that Congress grant him Trade Promotion Authority, a power he should have requested long ago. The United States simply cannot pursue an effective trade agenda without a president who has the ability to bargain with other countries and send each proposed trade deal to Congress […]


Trade Will Strengthen the State of the Union

The pundits are still working through the details of Tuesday’s State of the Union speech, in which President Obama called for raising the minimum wage, fighting climate change, and fixing health-care costs. If nothing else, the address will give Democrats, Republicans, and independents plenty to talk about. As a farmer, however, I am really interested […]


Here’s to Healthy Delicious Sweet Corn

I’ve been growing sweet corn for more than 40 years–and this summer’s sweet corn is the very best I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps you weren’t expecting this bit of good news amid all the bad news about corn. The nationwide drought has ravaged this year’s crop. I can certainly share plenty of horror stories: Most of […]


An Open Letter to Oprah: Come to My Farm and See Why Biotech Crops Make Sense

Dear Oprah, Come to my farm. Visit the land that I’ve worked since I was a boy. See this place so that you’ll never again let bad articles on agriculture tarnish the pages of your magazine or the pixels on your website. If you accept this invitation to have a firsthand look at how an […]

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