Baldwin: Changes in Washington must work for farmers, not against them.
In a letter to President Trump, Sen. Baldwin shares the concerns of Wisconsin farmers to ensure that their voices are being heard and considered when the President makes policy decisions.
“I have heard from farmers and the agriculture industry in Wisconsin regarding recent actions your Administration has taken and statements you have made. Many farmers are feeling a great deal of uncertainty this spring because of worries about the impact of your Administration’s policies on the stability of their workforce and access to markets for their products in both Canada and Mexico. As you consider your agenda on immigration and trade policies, I want to share these concerns to ensure that Wisconsin farmers’ voices are being heard and considered. Changes in Washington must work for farmers, not against them.
Wisconsin’s dairy industry depends on trade. In fact, Mexico is the largest buyer of U.S. dairy products – purchasing nearly a quarter of U.S. dairy exports in 2016. Many Wisconsin dairy farmers are concerned that discussions about tariffs and a construction of a border wall could jeopardize their relationships with Mexican trading partners. Canada is also an important export market for Wisconsin’s dairy industry; however, a recent change in Canadian dairy trading policy has cost Wisconsin companies tens of millions of dollars.
Reports of immigration policies have incited fear among immigrant workers and uncertainty in Wisconsin’s rural economy. These workers represent a vital component of Wisconsin’s rural workforce and farmers are concerned about how their businesses would fare without them.
The health of Wisconsin’s rural economy rises and falls with the strength of our agriculture industry. We must do everything we can to ensure our rural communities and farms make it through this challenging time for farmers and farm workers. It is of the utmost importance to the health of our rural towns that you consider the challenges and priorities of the agriculture community as you draft your policy agenda.”