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AFBF Welcomes Trade Mitigation Payments

Podcast / Newsline December 19, 2018

The second wave of the Agriculture Department’s Market Facilitation Program trade assistance payments will help farmers and ranchers endure trade-related losses. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomed round two of the assistance to help offset losses farmers are facing from trade retaliation by America’s trading partners. Dave Salmonsen, AFBF senior director of congressional relations, says the payments will help offset lower export sales.

Salmonsen: It looks that it will be everything that was promised. The second half of the payments that producers received earlier is going to come through at a good time of course to help farmers weather the storm that they’ve been undergoing because of all the tariff issues, decline in export markets, so that’s good news from the administration on that front.

Clements: Salmonsen says the payments will help farmers better plan for 2019.

Salmonsen: The time of year when people are visiting with their bankers and planning for next year, they will have the certainty of these extra funds coming in, and it helps them override the downturns that they’re facing and unfortunately continue to face with these trade issues.

Clements: He says the biggest help the administration can provide farmers is to end the tariffs impacting export markets.

Salmonsen: What Farm Bureau has been calling for is to try to get rid of the tariffs that are on other countries that are causing the retaliation that are hurting farmers’ export markets. And the administration is undergoing trade discussions with China, and China has, as they committed to doing, they’ve started buying. Sure, it starts off at a fairly modest level, but we’re certainly hoping it grows and we can get back to a normal trading regime.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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