Ag groups responded on Thursday to the $16 billion in assistance to farmers announced by USDA. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomed the news.
“Farmers across the country are struggling. Wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs and demand destruction in the ethanol market are forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of these challenges and support for America’s farmers,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp who joined President Trump for the White House announcement.
National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., said, “We thank President Trump for recognizing that our patriot farmers have borne the brunt of China’s trade retaliation. The U.S. pork industry has been one of the most adversely affected sectors, receiving a one-two punch in the form of a 50 percent punitive tariff from China on top of the existing 12 percent duty and, until recently, a 20 percent punitive tariff from Mexico. This trade aid will help repair some of the damage inflicted upon U.S. pork producers.”
“We recognize and are thankful that these funds will help offset the persisting damage from tariffs, as well as enable new market development through ATP,” said Davie Stephens, president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and soybean grower from Clinton, Ky.
Stephens reiterated, however, that the soybean industry needs open trade access, saying, “The key word from today’s announcement is “facilitation”: Trade assistance will only facilitate soy growers’ ability to farm, not make their losses whole or tariff woes disappear long term. Trade assistance will only help in the short term.”