In Casey You Missed It
Americans For Farmers & Families’ Casey Guernsey: Farmers Need Certainty On Trade

BLOOMBERG’S DAVID WESTIN: “Even put aside how this whole trade thing comes out, just the uncertainty of it.  President Trump seems not to be in a big hurry to get it resolved.  Does paying farmers money…make up for all that uncertainty?”

CASEY GUERNSEY: “Well, I mean, we appreciate the sentiment, and we are glad that we’re in the thoughts of the folks in Washington.  But with all due respect, we would rather pass on another entitlement that would sort of hold us hostage to Washington.  You know, we are not in the business of looking for a government check every month.  We want access to markets, we want long-term solutions.  We would rather see a strong commitment to sitting down and negotiating out these differences within [North American Free Trade Agreement] NAFTA and certainly with China.  Because every market is very important, regardless how big it is, and China is a growing market.  I mean, if you talk to the Chinese, they want our goods.  And we know if we have access to that with certainty long term down the road, we don’t even need to even think about money from Washington, we’ll do just fine.”

WESTIN: “So, Casey as I understand it, your family has been farming since 1840, I think the date is, in Missouri, as you say.  Have you overall benefited from free trade or been hurt by some of the unfair trade practices?”

GUERNSEY: “Yeah, we’ve been farming a long time, and we had to leave the dairy business because of a lot of these same issues that are facing us now in the beef industry and other farms across, not just our county, but across the Midwest. You know, I was born in 1980.  I remember the 80s.  And there is the term ‘the farm crunch,’ I don’t know if you’re familiar with that.  But that’s a real term because farmers left the business.  And when farmers leave the business, especially small to midsize guys like my family’s operation, you don’t get back in.  You just can’t afford to spend that kind of money to get back in the business to have all this uncertainty to deal with every year to try and make a living.  So. you know, and fast forward to the 90s whenever we got NAFTA, we absolutely saw a real benefit to those trade negotiations because we were able to make a pretty good living in those times.  And that’s why we know that these trade agreements work.  And that’s why we want commitment in the long term to negotiating these agreements that will allow us to have a degree of certainty in uncertain times like now with the weather.” (Bloomberg, 8/17/18)

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