Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomed last week’s announcement from the Department of Agriculture of $16 billion in trade aid for farmers and ranchers, which will include direct payments to producers impacted by the retaliatory Chinese tariffs. While farmers and ranchers would prefer open markets to sell their products, AFBF executive vice president Dale Moore says the aid is desperately needed.
Moore: There’s no secret here that farmers need some relief from this ongoing trade war and we’re getting hit from all sides between the economy, the weather and these retaliatory tariffs, so we’ve been holding on for a long time. For some of our farmers that time is about to run out.
Clements: Farmers and ranchers want free trade and open markets, but Moore says the trade dispute with China has spurred the need for assistance now.
Moore: We want trade, not aid. But, given the circumstances, when China backed away from the table and the President took the actions he took and then China took additional actions, it’s kind of forcing a situation here where we’ve got to have some help for our producers.
Clements: Moore says AFBF will continue to advocate for resolving these ongoing trade issues.
Moore: We are hopeful that this assistance will yet give us a little more breathing room to deal with the impact of these tariffs, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that we are continuing to push not only on getting the China situation resolved, getting the issues resolved that move the USMCA agreement forward, Japan, South Korea, all the different places were we need to get trade shored up, and help bring some stability and some consistency that our farmers and ranchers can count on.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.