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Farm Bureau Communicates Trade Concerns to the President

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Zippy Duvall

It’s clear that American farmers are running out of patience for a China trade deal, and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote President Trump to make sure he understands that. Duvall told the President the escalating tariff war with China and a six-year downturn in farm prices have produced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship.” Now add poor spring planting weather to the fear of losing more markets when many had expected a deal to already be done.

“And now it’s going to take longer,” says Farm Bureau trade chief Dave Salmonsen. “Still have hopes it’ll be resolved, but it’s not going to be done, where we thought it would come to a resolution, hopefully, with reducing or eliminating tariffs, potential purchases of US ag products, that seems to be put off for the future.”

Duvall asks President Trump for a swift resolution to the trade war with China, but Salmonsen says any deal may have to come in pieces.

“I look at this, and I think a lot of people look at this, as a series of agreements, and not just one big agreement, meaning that our engagement with China, of course, will continue. There’s the focus, of course, on the ongoing trade deficit and how do we bring that down, that’s where the purchases come in.”

On the encouraging side of the trade ledger, Salmonsen says, “The decision on whether the president would authorize 25-percent tariffs on autos and trucks and parts, officially would be due by this Saturday, May 18th. We’re hearing that the president will delay that for six months.”

That would give the President some remaining leverage as the US continues talks with others, including Japan and the EU.

Source: Farm Bureau