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Americans For Farmers & Families’ Casey Guernsey Addresses Why Retaliation Hurts Rural Families

FOX BUSINESS’ LEAH GABRIELLE: “So, what impact does this have on our farmers?  Here now is Casey Guernsey, a seventh-generation farmer and former Missouri state legislator.  Casey, do we have you with us?”

CASEY GUERNSEY: “I am here. Thank you for having us.”

GABRIELLE: “Well, you are a farmer by trade.  You grew up on a family farm where you raised cattle, you raised pork.  Tell me, you have said that this retaliation from China has already hurt farmers. Can you explain that?”

GUERNSEY: “Yeah, absolutely.  I mean not just in terms of commodity prices, but in terms of what we have to plan for, for the coming year.  I mean, this is spring.  This is an important time of the year when farmers make important decisions on their operations, whether to invest in equipment, whether you know, to plant varieties of commodities, what to do with their herds, how to work on their forward contracting.  It’s a big, important time of year, and it’s a stressful time of the year anyway.  And whenever you have something like this on top of it, it adds a level of stress.”

GABRIELLE: “You know, another thing that we heard that Jeff Flock was reporting yesterday was that when these prices, soy for example, was dropping, China basically came and bought.  That can’t make farmers happy.  But the question is, is the short-term pain worth the long-term payoff that President Trump is hoping to achieve?”

GUERNSEY: “Yeah in agriculture, you’re used to these peaks and valleys in the commodities market and this is nothing that’s new.  I mean, we’ll have high prices again, we’ll have low prices again.  But we understand what the president is trying to do and we understand that we in agriculture are being absolutely targeted by the Chinese, and especially considering that we’re also a group that supports President Trump.  And we believe that he has our best interests in mind and that he is going to work for the best possible deal and that’s why we supported him.  But that doesn’t mean that we are in favor of these retaliatory type actions as it relates to these tariffs that are being implemented.  We would rather him focus on negotiating the best possible deal with [North American Free Trade Agreement] NAFTA that could be had.  And we believe he can do it and improve NAFTA and that’s what we could encourage him and his folks in the U.S. Trade Office to do.” (FOX Business, 4/5/18)

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