America’s farmers need a swift resolution to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to President Trump.
The six-year downturn in farm prices that has produced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship” is worsening as a result of Chinese tariffs, he wrote. “U.S. farmers and ranchers now face a third wave of tariff increases by China in retaliation against the latest increase in U.S. tariffs that went into effect last Friday, May 10. The mere threat sent prices further downward for certain commodities last week.”
Bad weather this spring has only added to difficulties posed by trade challenges, as some farmers may opt not to plant a crop at all this year, Duvall told the President. An aid package would help some continue to farm, he added, but the real solution is open markets.
“We ask that your trade negotiators make a deal as soon as possible to end the tariffs that are slashing our exports, destroying a once-promising market for agriculture, worsening the farm economy, and contributing to high levels of stress and uncertainty for many farm and ranch families and other Americans whose jobs are connected to agricultural production.”
Duvall also called for progress on trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Japan and the European Union. “Our agricultural trade surplus previously has been a tremendous success story for the U.S.,” Duvall told the President. “We hope to return to that success for agriculture and our country.”