The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details of the $12 billion package of aid to farmers hurt by retaliation resulting from the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. According to the USDA press announcement, assistance to wheat growers will be 14¢/bushel. NAWG President and Sentinel, OK wheat farmer Jimmie Musick made the following statement:
“In public remarks, USDA Secretary Perdue stated that the federal aid package for farmers being harmed by our current trade war with China won’t seem like it’s equitable. This was made clear when the Administration introduced a proposal which poorly reflects the reality that all farmers are being harmed by tariffs.
“NAWG appreciates the Administration’s steps to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices but tariffs and the subsequent self-inflicted need to provide aid aren’t the answer. Farmers across the country want ‘trade, not aid’, especially wheat growers.
“About half of all U.S. wheat is exported, making new trade deals and establishing new global markets, a priority for all wheat farmers. As a result of the tariffs, China hasn’t purchased any wheat from the United States since March. Further, we estimate that the ongoing trade war will cause a 75¢/bushel price decrease and a reduction in global wheat production.
“U.S. Wheat Associates makes a similar note in their statement, which NAWG supports. The federal aid package invests in market development programs which we hope will repair some of the damage resulting from the tariffs. However, this solution is only temporary, and both organizations encourage the Administration to must move forward with new trade deals.
“Farm income is down, and rural America is enduring a prolonged economic downturn. This relief package shows that the Administration isn’t grasping the tough conditions being faced by farmers. The long-term solution is to end the trade war.”