Agriculture Groups Laud Trump Plan to Aid Farmers

July 26, 2018 Updated: July 26, 2018

Nine major agriculture associations voiced support for President Donald Trump’s plan to aid American farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs.

The American Farm Bureau, local trade associations, and groups representing soybean, cotton, sorghum, milk, and pork producers issued statements after the Department of Agriculture announced the $12 billion farm aid program.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement that the aid “will provide a welcome measure of temporary relief to our farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the financial effects of the trade war.”

“We are grateful for the administration’s recognition that farmers and ranchers needed positive news now and this will buy us some time,” Duval said.

The aid will be divided up among three programs. The bulk of the funds will be given to farmers and producers of products directly hit by retaliatory tariffs, including soybeans, corn, and wheat. A separate program will buy up and distribute surplus fruit, nuts, and dairy. The third program will help farmers and producers find new markets for their goods.

China, Mexico, the European Union, and Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on scores of American goods in response to Trump levying duties on steel, aluminum, and $34 billion worth of Chinese products. The aid programs are meant to offset the approximately $11 billion in damage caused by the retaliatory measures.

“U.S. soybean producers want to see President Trump succeed in meeting his trade campaign goals of achieving better trade deals and greater market access,” said American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer. “And, we appreciate that he has recognized our loss in exports and lower prices and provided some immediate relief.”

While Trump favors free trade, he is using tariffs as leverage to secure better deals for American companies. That approach bore fruit on July 25 when Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced an agreement to work toward a trade deal with zero tariffs, zero trade barriers, and zero trade subsidies.

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