FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the details of the administration’s emergency aid package for farmers who are being targeted in an escalating U.S. trade war with China and other top trading partners.
USDA will send incremental payments to soybeans, sorghum, wheat, corn, pork, dairy, and cotton producers through the Market Facilitation Program starting on September 4. These payments will be based on their 2018 actual production and subject to payment limitations. The agency will also purchase commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk through a Food Purchase and Distribution Program and authorize a $200 million Trade Promotion Program to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products.
National Farmers Union (NFU), an advocacy organization representing nearly 200,000 farm families, echoed previous requests for the administration to develop a long-term support mechanism to mitigate the significant, long-term damage being inflicted upon U.S. agriculture trade markets and therefore farm prices. The organization is a long-time proponent of fixing systemic international trade issues.
Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, issued the following statement in response to the announcement of the aid package details:
“The USDA aid package is appreciated, and it will begin to help many of those that are suffering the brunt of the retaliation from China and other trading partners. But our family farmers and ranchers need strong markets and long-term certainty. This trade war has already caused irreparable, long-term harm to what were strong trade relationships for American family farmers and ranchers. As a result, farm prices continue to plummet for U.S. farm goods, and our competitors are putting more land into production to fill the void.
“Farmers Union wants to see the administration pursue fair trade agreements to the benefit of farmers and rural communities. But it must transition away from an ad hoc emergency aid strategy and to work with Congress to develop a legislative solution to low farm prices that keeps family farmers in business. While the current farm economy and outlook are bleak, the administration and Congress have the tools to protect family farmers over the course of this trade war.”
To download an audio file of Rob Larew’s quote, visit our website at nfu.org/audio.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.
Look for us online at NFU.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.