Crops News

Farm & trade groups call for U.S. and China to negotiate


Farmers and ranchers are calling on the Trump Administration to head back to the table to negotiate with China. Without the opportunity of exports, American farmers run the risk of not being able to make ends meet and watching their hard work go down the drain. 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by. In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather, and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades.

“Farm Bureau economists tell us exports to China were down by $1.3 billion during the first half of the year. Now, we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

“We are grateful for Market Facilitation Program payments many farmers and ranchers have received, allowing them to continue farming during this difficult time. Even so, we know that aid cannot last forever. We urge negotiators to redouble their efforts to arrive at an agreement, and quickly. Exports ensure farmers will continue to supply safe, healthful, and affordable food for families here and around the world.”

President Donald Trump alluded to a 2020 Market Facilitation Program yesterday in a tweet. “As they have learned in the last two years, our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do – And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!”

 Tariffs Hurt the Heartland called on the U.S. and China to return to the negotiating table as the economic fallout from an escalated trade war continues to grow. Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for the campaign, said,  “It’s never been more clear that tariffs are a failing strategy. Behind today’s market turmoil are real Americans who have been used as bargaining chips in this trade war. There are farmers who are defaulting on loans or filing for bankruptcy. There are small business owners who have put their dreams on hold. And there are American workers whose jobs are increasingly at risk in an otherwise strong economy. Both sides need to return to the negotiating table immediately. Nobody wins in a trade war, and right now, everyone is losing.”

study commissioned by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland and prepared by Trade Partnership Worldwide found that if tariffs of 25 percent are imposed on all remaining imports from China and retaliation follows, the U.S. economy could lose more than 2 million jobs over the next few years, the average family of four would face more than $2,000 in higher costs annually, and the value of U.S. GDP would drop by 1 percent.

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