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EDITORIALS

NFU: President’s State of the Union neglects dire farm economy conditions

Rob Larew
President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

While President Donald J. Trump called for renewed bipartisanship in the coming year to “break decades of political stalemate" and touted gains in the U.S. economy and trade relations, the National Farmers Union says he made no mention of the dire economic conditions currently facing American farmers and ranchers during his second State of the Union.

The reality is that the downward trend in the farm economy has only worsened over the last two years, leaving many farmers and ranchers in significant financial stress. The reality is that once-stable markets for U.S. farm products are now being lost to our competitors. And the reality is that the current downward pressure on farm prices as a result of lost markets will continue for years to come.

To tout progress with China or USMCA as a win is misleading – you can’t dig a ten-foot hole, fill it up with a foot of dirt and call that a win.

If the president truly wants to support American farm families, he will begin to restore our reputation around the world as a reliable trading partner. He will reassert American leadership in the international trade arena, rather than straining relationships with our top trading partners. And he will back up his calls for bipartisanship by working with Congress to ensure farm families can succeed with fair and stable markets for their goods.

Rob Larew

Larew is is the Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Communications for the National Farmers Union