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Lawmakers, Ag Groups Respond to USDA Plan to Assist Farmers Impacted by Illegal Retaliation | KTIC Radio

Lawmakers, Ag Groups Respond to USDA Plan to Assist Farmers Impacted by Illegal Retaliation

Lawmakers, Ag Groups Respond to USDA Plan to Assist Farmers Impacted by Illegal Retaliation
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U.S. Senator Ben Sasse

“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches. America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose – they want to win by feeding the world. This administration’s tariffs and bailouts aren’t going to make America great again, they’re just going to make it 1929 again.”

NCGA Statement on USDA Trade Aid

(WASHINGTON) July 24, 2018 – North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), made the below statement following this afternoon’s USDA announcement of an aid package for farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty.

“NCGA appreciates the Administration’s recognition of the harm to producers caused by tariffs and trade uncertainty. The fine print will be important. We know the package won’t make farmers whole but look forward to working with USDA on the details and implementation of this plan.

“NCGA’s grower members are confronting their fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets. Corn farmers prefer to rely on markets, not an aid package, for their livelihoods.

“NCGA will continue to advocate for Administrative actions including: rescinding the section 232 and 301 tariffs; securing NAFTA’s future; entering new trade agreements; allowing for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends such as E15; and implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard as intended. We believe these additional actions, which would come with no cost, would result in stronger market demand for farmers.”

American Soybean Association:

John Heisdorffer, ASA President and soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, stated, “Our best course of action is to expand other markets and develop new ones to buy the soybeans we’re not selling to China. This means finishing the NAFTA negotiations as soon as possible so we can begin talks on new bilateral agreements with other key soybean markets including Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.”

Soybean farmers are facing an urgent situation this fall, with a near-record harvest expected and exports predicted to be down by 11 percent next year. That situation will worsen without long-term answers to the pinch of tariffs—or seeing the tariffs rescinded.

“The American Soybean Association has consistently advised the Administration that the best way to reduce our Nation’s trade deficit is by increasing exports, including of agricultural products,” Heisdorffer stated. “Since the Administration has decided to use tariffs to address trade concerns with China, and China has retaliated, farmers don’t have time to wait to see how this trade war turns out.”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:

“The $12 billion package of agricultural assistance announced today by the administration will provide a welcome measure of temporary relief to our farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the financial effects of the trade war. This should help many of our farmers and ranchers weather the rough road ahead and assist in their dealings with their financial institutions. We are grateful for the administration’s recognition that farmers and ranchers needed positive news now and this will buy us some time. This announcement is substantial, but we cannot overstate the dire consequences that farmers and ranchers are facing in relation to lost export markets. Our emphasis continues to be on trade and restoring markets, and we will continue to push for a swift and sure end to the trade war and the tariffs impacting American agriculture.”

 

Farmers for Free Trade released the following statement from Executive Director Brian Kuehl.

“Farmers across America depend on open markets and stable contracts for their livelihood.  The best relief for the president’s trade war would be ending the trade war. Farmers need contracts, not compensation, so they can create stability and plan for the future. This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs..”
“Farmers can and do weather many storms, but this economic cyclone of tariffs is creating long-term, irreversible damage to the heartland. The $20 billion trade surplus in agriculture is due to decades of effort by American farmers who’ve opened new markets and developed world class supply chains.  Unfortunately, a one-time check won’t replace the deterioration of long-term contracts and relationships. Nor will it address the many sectors of agriculture impacted – from producers, to grain bin operators, to shippers. Farmers need stable markets to plan for the future.  As such, we urge the Administration to take immediate action to stop the trade war and get back to opening new markets.” 
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