USTR Works on TPP Countries; Midwest Colleges Best in Ag
**A void created when the U.S. pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has lawmakers pushing the Trump administration for clues to how the U.S. will increase Pacific Rim trade without the massive trade pact.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer assured members of the House Ways and Means Committee last week the U.S. is not abandoning the Asia-Pacific countries, saying the Trump administration is developing a long list of Asian countries that would be good candidates for bilateral free trade agreements.
**While lawmakers and witnesses at a congressional hearing last week agreed rural America desperately needs more and better broadband service to prosper, it was unclear where the funds to expand would come from.
Many feel wireless internet service allows businesses to exist and thrive in rural locations, and without it, businesses like family farms are at a competitive disadvantage.
The U.S. is ranked 16th in the world for broadband access. 39% of rural Americans don’t have access, compared to 4% of urban dwellers.
**The Midwest is home to half of the world’s best collegiate Ag economics and policy programs.
The Center for World University Rankings compares eight factors including education, employment after graduation and influence, among others, to measure education and training at universities around the globe.
The UC Davis topped the list for 2017 with a perfect score followed by Cornell and Iowa State, with Michigan State and Purdue tied for fourth. Ohio State and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were also in the top ten.