A Montana farmer told the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee today that there have been very few issues in her career as a farmer that has caused her to lose sleep. But the latest string of tariffs against agriculture is one of them.
Michelle Erickson-Jones, a grain farmer and cattle rancher from Broadview, spoke on behalf of the Farmers for Free Trade at a hearing on the Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural communities. In her testimony, Erickson-Jones, who is also a member of the National Association of Wheat Growers Board of Directors, points to the success of rural agriculture and family farms in America, both which are threatened by steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Administration and the retaliatory tariffs levied by American trading partners.
“Currently farmers like me are not only struggling to ensure this year’s crop is profitable, but we are also concerned about the long-term impacts to our valuable export markets.” Erickson-Jones said. “For young and beginning farmers like me the stakes are even higher. We are often highly leveraged, just establishing our operations, as well as trying to ensure we have access to enough capital to successfully grow our operations. Increased trade tensions and market uncertainty makes our path forward and our hopes to pass the farm on to our sons less clear. I hope to pass my farm to my sons and as such urge you to consider the tolls these tariffs will have on my operation and how it impacts that possibility, and many other family farms, as outlined in my testimony.”
Erickson-Jones also testified at the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) hearing in May 2018 on the ways Section 301 tariffs are already hurting American farmers. She also appeared in a TV campaign launched by Farmers for Free Trade earlier this year warning about the unintended consequences of tariffs and trade uncertainty.