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Farm Bureaus call for end to China trade disputes

(MGN)

State Farm Bureau presidents from across the Midwest joined together to call for an end to trade disputes with China that could potentially threaten agriculture market opportunities, according to a press release from the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

The Farm Bureau presidents are asking U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to work with President Trump to end the escalation.

In a May 15 letter to Secretary Perdue, presidents of the Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin Farm Bureaus responded to President Trump’s call for the Secretary to develop a plan to provide monetary compensation to farmers and ranchers who may be hurt by retaliatory measures China may take in response to proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Farmers and ranchers know growing our customer base outside our borders is critical to our economic survival. The development of international trade rules and passage of free trade agreements, while never perfect, have helped the United States and the Midwest in particular,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson. “Agriculture trade between China and our Midwestern states amounted to just under $4.5 billion in 2017 alone.”

In the letter, the presidents made it clear that farmers and ranchers want access to markets, not checks from the federal government in lieu of trade opportunities.

“Farmers and ranchers have invested heavily in checkoff programs, trade missions, and other activities to grow International markets. While we appreciate the sentiment behind President Trump’s request, this action will negate the work of our organizations to reduce the need for taxpayer assistance for agriculture,” said Nelson. “President Trump and Secretary Perdue have done great things for rural America, but we cannot afford to risk the gains we’ve made in market access by making farm and ranch families casualties of ongoing trade disputes with China.”

See the entire letter below:


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