Farmers Reiterate Need For Trade, Not Aid
Relief Package Called A “Band-Aid” That Doesn’t Solve Need For Permanent End To Trade Disputes

(Source: Bloomberg & Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Earlier last week, the Trump Administration announced its plans to provide $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers losing income and access to markets as a result of trade disputes between the United States and trading partners like China.   These funds signal that these trade disputes are likely to continue for some time.  Even before these imposed and proposed retaliatory tariffs, farmers were facing numerous challenges, including farm incomes expected to hit 12-year lows in 2018.

Agriculture’s challenges have the potential to get worse if our trading partners begin to rely more heavily on outside markets to supply their needs.  Improving our trade relations with current partners and expanding into new markets would alleviate these challenges.  America’s food and agriculture industries support more than 43 million jobs meaning that continued trade uncertainty puts the livelihoods of millions of Americans at risk.  Farmers need trade, not aid.

As Farmers Reach The “Breaking Point,” The Trump Administration’s $12 Billion In Aid Seen As A “Band-Aid”:

Iowa Farmer Dave Struthers: “A Band-Aid Doesn’t Cure An Illness, But It Might Make It Temporarily Better.” (David Pitt, “Farmers Prefer Trump Do Trade Deals Than Hand Them Cash,” The Associated Press, 7/25/18)

Iowa Farmer John Maxwell: “It’s A Difficult Time, It’s Kind Of A Farmer On The Brink Kind Of A Thing.  Soy Beans And Pork Are The Two Really Big Ones.” (Yukare Nakayama, “Local Farmer On Trade Tariffs And President Trump’s Visit On Thursday,” Our Quad Cities, 7/23/18)

North Dakota Farmer Richard Schlosser: “Experience Has Shown That Trade Wars And All This Tit-For-That Is Devastating To The Agriculture Economy And Drives Prices Down.” (David Pitt, “Farmers Prefer Trump Do Trade Deals Than Hand Them Cash,” The Associated Press, 7/25/18)

Minnesota Farmer Wanda Patsche: “I Don’t Want Free Money.  I Don’t Want Bailouts.  I Want Trade.  Trade Is What Works.” (David Pitt, “Farmers Prefer Trump Do Trade Deals Than Hand Them Cash,” The Associated Press, 7/25/18)

Missouri Farmer Kalena Bruce: “With Farmers Already Facing Economic Head Winds, Including Oversupply And Drought, I Predict That Even With This Aid, Expanded Tariffs Would Be The Breaking Point That Puts Some Farmers Out Of Business Entirely.” (Kalena Bruce, Op-Ed, “Farmers Like Me Put Trump In Office. Now His Trade War Is Smothering Us.” The Washington Post, 7/25/18)

Illinois Soybean Growers Chairwoman Lynn Rohrscheib: “If Trade Is Our Problem, Aid Handouts Are A Poor Solution.  As Producers, We Would Rather Be Able To Sell Our Crop For A Fair Price And Grow Both Agricultural Export And Market Opportunities.” (Greg Trotter, “Illinois Farmers Welcome $12 Billion In Aid, But Prefer Trade: ‘There’s No Magic Crop Out There,’” Chicago Tribune, 7/27/18)

Illinois Corn And Soybean Farmer John Kiefner: “We Fight The Weather, We Fight The Bugs And Weeds.  We Really Don’t Need Another Thing To Fight.” (Greg Trotter, “Illinois Farmers Welcome $12 Billion In Aid, But Prefer Trade: ‘There’s No Magic Crop Out There,’” Chicago Tribune, 7/27/18)

Perdue University Agricultural Economics Professor Thomas Hertel: “We’ve Run A Trade Surplus In Agriculture.  Any Tariffs Levied Against Us In Agriculture Will Imperil That.  It’s Making The U.S. Less Competitive.” (Tami Luhby, “American Farmers Enjoy A Trade Surplus. Trump Could Wipe It Out.” CNN, 7/26/18)

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “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.” (Janet Kubat Willette, “USDA Announces 3-Prong Approach To Aid Farmers,” Beef Magazine, 7/24/18)

U.S. Apple Association Board Of Directors: “Saying That Trade Is Critical To The Apple Industry Is An Understatement.  Apple Exports Are Also Important To The U.S. Economy And Jobs.  Because Of Our Thriving Export Markets, The Apple Industry Annually Generates About $15 Billion In Economic Activity, Provides More Than 71,000 Jobs And Contributes Nearly $1 Billion Toward A Positive Trade Balance.” (Jeff Colombini & Mike Wade, “Retaliatory Tariffs Take A Big Bite Out Of U.S. Apple Industry,” San Francisco Chronicle, 7/25/18)

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Spokesperson Mark O’Neill: “The Concern Here Is That Obviously Without China Making The Purchases … It’s Going To Create A Glut In The Market.  It’s Going To Mean Depressed Prices That Farmers Receive For Their Beans.” (Nora Shelly, ““As Trade War Roils Soybean Market, Pennsylvania Farmers Plow Ahead” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/23/18)

Indiana Chamber Of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar: “Products Used In Our Homes Every Day, And The Materials Consumed To Build Them, Will Simply Cost More.  And The Retaliation On U.S. Tariffs Will Lead To Lost Sales Of Indiana Products–And Ultimately, Lost Jobs.” (Brynna Sentel, “Tariffs And Trade War Could Hurt Indiana Businesses,” WTHR, 7/23/18)

Center For Dairy Excellence Executive Director Jayne Sebright: “The Reason Milk Prices Have Fallen Back So Much Since The Trade Wars Began Is Because Two Months Of Our Annual Milk Production Is Exported.” (Daniel Moore, “China, A Glutton For Cheese, Could Wreak More Havoc On Pennsylvania Farms Through Tariffs,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/23/18)

American Craft Spirits Association: “Imposed Tariffs On American Whiskey Exports Or Limiting Our Market Access Will Dramatically, Directly, And Negatively Affect Not Just Our Distillers And Their Families, Who Collectively Make Up A Workforce Of More Than 20,000 Employees Across The U.S., But The Farmers And Agricultural Partners Who Supply Their Grains, The Manufacturing Industry Who Has Helped Support Our Community As It Grows, And The Broader Hospitality Industry.” (Erin Murphy, “Iowa Whiskey Producers Also Feeling Tariffs’ Impact,” Sioux City Journal, 7/21/18)