National Farmers Union emphasizes need for long-term solutions

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WASHINGTON - In a move that will further escalate trade tensions, the Trump administration on Sept. 17, announced its intention to place a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened to levy tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of imports. The Chinese government has already responded in kind with tariffs on $60 billion worth of American imports.

National Farmers Union (NFU), a 116-year-old organization that advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 family farmers and ranchers, has consistently expressed concern about President Trump’s imprudent and antagonistic approach to trade negotiations. NFU Vice President Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew reiterated those concerns following today’s announcement:

 “China has unquestionably engaged in unfair and manipulative trade behavior for many years. Though we agree with President Trump’s effort to address these actions, we strongly disagree with his go-it-alone approach. We believe he would be more successful in achieving fundamental reforms in China’s trading tactics by leading the rest of the world in a united front.

“The administration’s current strategy has created serious and potentially irrevocable problems for American farmers and ranchers. The loss of export markets and severely depressed commodity prices cost wheat, soy, and corn growers to the tune of $13 billion dollars in the month of June alone; yesterday’s announcement to escalate tensions further will undoubtedly cost them billions more in the years to come.

“The effect these tariffs will have on export markets is clearly not a temporary problem, and as such, a temporary solution will not be sufficient. We call on Congress and the administration to establish meaningful, long-term safeguards that will prevent family farmers and ranchers from collapsing under the weight of a global trade war.”

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