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On National Ag Day, AFF Calls on Admin to Stand Up for America’s Farmers & Families

Today marks National Ag Day, a time to celebrate the 43 million Americans whose work in the food and agriculture industries helps feed families here at home and around the world.

Recognizing the vital role these industries have played for centuries – and will continue to play – in growing America’s economy and improving lives, President Donald Trump tweeted:

“Our Nation was founded by farmers. Our independence was won by farmers. And our continent was tamed by farmers. Our farmers always lead the way — we are PROUD of them, and we are DELIVERING for them! #NationalAgricultureDay”

Speaking at the United States Department of Agriculture this morning, Vice President Mike Pence added:

“Agriculture is the essence of America and the beating heart of the nation. … Since Day One of our administration, President Trump has been working tirelessly to stand up for our Nation’s farmers, producers, ranchers, foresters, and everyone involved in agriculture. And I promise you we always will.”

To deliver on this promise, the Administration must move forward with pro-growth trade policies that help American food and agriculture businesses reach new customers abroad while creating more jobs and increasing paychecks for our nation’s workers. That includes:

  • Preserving and Modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for the 21st Century. NAFTA has been tremendously beneficial to rural communities across the United States, helping spur growth in agriculture and energy. The United States exported $43 billion worth of food and agricultural products to Mexico and Canada in 2016 alone, which comprised 25 percent of all U.S. agriculture exports that year. That same year, NAFTA facilitated $34 billion worth of energy exports.
  • Protecting our Farmers and Families from Unintended Consequences of Tariffs. Tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods put our nation’s agricultural sector in the bullseye for direct retaliation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service, one-third of U.S. agricultural exports in 2017 went to the top aluminum-producing countries and 39 percent of agricultural exports in 2017 went to the top steel-producing countries.

Following Vice President Pence’s speech, spokesman for Americans for Farmers and Families Joshua Baca said:

“Today, President Trump and Vice President Pence reaffirmed the their commitment to protecting America’s farmers and families. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration’s latest approach on trade and tariffs is a direct threat to communities across the country. Moving forward with more far-reaching tariffs and threatening to dismantle NAFTA will only jeopardize our ability to trade, devastate jobs critical to rural communities, and upend America’s centuries-old food and agriculture industries. 43 million Americans are counting on President Trump to alter his course.”

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