WASHINGTON — Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Thursday, May 23, that the USDA is rolling out up to $16 billion in programs to help farmers during the trade negotiations.
Agricultural organizations around the country are making their opinion known about this development.
In a statement from the American Farm Bureau Federation, President Zippy Duvall said,
“The Trump Administration’s agricultural assistance package is welcome relief to an economic sector that has been battered by foreign competitors and retaliatory tariffs. We thank the President for living up to his commitment to stand by our farmers and ranchers.”
Duvall added, “While farmers and ranchers would rather earn their income from the marketplace, they have been suffering during the agricultural downturn and trade war.”
The National Pork Producers joins the Duvall in praising President Trump and the USDA for providing aid to farmers.
“We thank President Trump for recognizing that our patriot farmers have borne the brunt of China’s trade retaliation,” said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., and president of the National Pork Producers Council . “The U.S. pork industry has been one of the most adversely affected sectors, receiving a one-two punch in the form of a 50 percent punitive tariff from China on top of the existing 12 percent duty and, until recently, a 20 percent punitive tariff from Mexico. This trade aid will help repair some of the damage inflicted upon U.S. pork producers.”
Here in Kansas, The Kansas Corn growers Association is also appreciative of the new programs, but also have their reservations.
“It will be a while before we know how much assistance corn farmers will receive. We hope it more equitably reflects the market losses we’ve incurred than the program last fall that gave corn farmers a penny a bushel. We do respect USDA’s announcement today, which was intended to avoid impacting planting decisions.” KCGA CEO Greg Krissek said. “The best solution would be to address the ‘perfect storm’ of issues that are destroying demand for corn and products we make with corn, like ethanol.”
Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall went to Twitter to show his support for the measure.
Farm country is hurting, I’m glad to see @realdonaldtrump & @SecretarySonny respond to Cheating China’s shady tactics that consistently undermine direct negotiations. Our farmers need a deal, but this $16B package will hopefully give some relief during the ongoing trade war.
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) May 23, 2019
Also representing Kansas in Washington, Representative Ron Estes went to twitter urging action to be taken to end the trade disputes.
Today @USDA announced $16 B for farmers impacted by the efforts to fix unfair trade practices. While I applaud the Administration for working to correct the hardships for our farmers, trade reps need to negotiate now so Kansans have access to open markets. https://t.co/JZ3CptEblF
— Rep. Ron Estes (@RepRonEstes) May 23, 2019
In a statement disagreeing with the new funding to farmers, House Agriculture Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee Chair Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio said,
“Today’s announcement from USDA leaves far more questions than answers, and the Department has provided dangerously little detail about how this most recent bailout will operate. What we do know is that this is the second time USDA has been asked to provide a supposed ‘one-time’ fix for the problems the Administration has caused for our farmers. Even more concerning are reports that more than half of the Administration’s previously issued bailout funds were paid to only 10 percent of U.S. farmers. What we have now is a pattern of a President making impulsive decisions that damage the farm economy, only to just as impulsively direct USDA to spend billions in taxpayer money on a temporary fix. That’s as irresponsible as it is inept, and it takes time, money and energy away from things USDA should be doing, like implementing the farm bill and feeding hungry Americans.”
For full details on the trade aid packages, click the link here.