With little relief in sight for persistently low commodity prices, U.S. family farmers and ranchers are facing a bleak economic future. But a bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) would help restore prosperity the rural American economy by correcting an imbalance in U.S. monetary policy.
The Competitive Dollar for Jobs and Prosperity Act (CDJPA) would work to realign the value of the dollar, making U.S. agricultural exports more competitive abroad. By applying a market access charge on foreign investments, the legislation would strategically slow the flood of foreign capital that is currently driving up the dollar’s value to noncompetitive levels. As the value of the dollar declines, U.S. agricultural exports will be more competitive, spurring demand for those goods in markets abroad. As the demand for those products increases, so in turn will the prices paid to U.S. farmers and ranchers. A one percent decline in the value of the dollar could lead to as much as a 2.5 percent increase in the prices of certain crops.
According to the Coalition for a Prosperous America, bringing the U.S. dollar into alignment could add nearly $1 trillion to America’s GDP, create more than five million new U.S. jobs, and raise more than $2 trillion in tax revenue over six years.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said, “The overvalued U.S. dollar puts American family farmers and ranchers on an uneven playing field with the rest of the world. Despite near record levels of agricultural exports, median farm income has been negative for six straight years, and low commodity prices are a big part of the problem. Farmers can’t continue to thrive if they are spending more to produce a crop than they’re earning when it’s sold.
“If the U.S. dollar were realigned, our agricultural exports would be more competitive on the world market. Increased demand for these goods would drive up the price — a necessary change that would have far-reaching effects for agricultural communities. Further, a realigned dollar would also help reduce the U.S. trade deficit, potentially bringing back jobs to rural America.
Senator Hawley said, “For decades, China and other currency manipulators have waged financial war on U.S. agriculture and manufacturing to devastating effect. This legislation creates a powerful new tool to fight back against foreign currency manipulators, encourage investment in American jobs, and make our exports more competitive around the world. Our farmers deserve a chance to earn a fair profit on their crops. Our factories deserve a level playing field. With this bill, they will get one.”