The Effects of Tariffs on Agricultural and Rural Communities

Agriculture is facing the perfect storm - trade uncertainties, decade lows in farm income, agricultural labor shortages and the uncompleted 2018 Farm Bill. It is quickly becoming more than we can handle. The current tariffs, continuing... Read more
Agriculture is facing the perfect storm - trade uncertainties, decade lows in farm income, agricultural labor shortages and the uncompleted 2018 Farm Bill. It is quickly becoming more than we can handle. The current tariffs, continuing back-and-forth retaliatory actions and trade uncertainties are hitting American agriculture from all sides and are causing us to lose our markets. All commodities are being impacted, but in Minnesota we are hearing the most from our members that are growing soybeans and raising pigs. Many decisions in farming are not made week by week. We have to make decisions a long time before our crops are planted, much less harvested. Unlike other industries, it is nearly impossible to quickly adjust to factors outside of our control. We can manage some of our risks through crop insurance and other risk management tools. The impact tariffs are having on prices and on our farms is what is keeping farmers up at night. Read less
MN ( Global)
July 27, 2018
Submitted by: mnfarmbureau
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Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Agriculture
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July 27, 2018

President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in... Read more

July 27, 2018

President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets. This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy.

USDA will use the following programs to assist farmers:

  •  The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. This support will help farmers manage disrupted markets, deal with surplus commodities, and expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.
  • Additionally, USDA will use CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs.
  • Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.

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Minnesota Farm Bureau

July 27, 2018

Minnesota Farm Bureau strongly believes that we need to resolve trade concerns before resorting to tariffs. It is critical that we limit trade disruptions and resolve trade disputes through negotiations, not tariffs or withdrawals from other trade agreement discussions. President Trump often talks about our need to export more... Read more

July 27, 2018

Minnesota Farm Bureau strongly believes that we need to resolve trade concerns before resorting to tariffs. It is critical that we limit trade disruptions and resolve trade disputes through negotiations, not tariffs or withdrawals from other trade agreement discussions. President Trump often talks about our need to export more things that we make, but from a rural America perspective, we also need to export more of the things we grow. U.S. agriculture carried a favorable trade balance, a surplus of $17 billion in 2017. Minnesota farmers recognize that more than 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside of the United States and that we have the ability to reach customers outside of our borders through protecting, modifying and modernizing our current trade agreements and expanding market opportunities through new free trade agreements. 

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Farmers for Free Trade

July 27, 2018

The best relief for the president's trade war would be ending the trade war.  Farmers need contracts, not compensation, so they can create stability and plan for the future. This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs.

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Supporting info

Hearing on Effects of Tariffs

2018/07/17 - Ways and Means Committee

Statement on Assistance Package

2018/07/17 - Minnesota Farm Bureau