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Farmers Union Insists Immediate Trade Payments Happen

17 December 2018

US - Amidst reports that the White House is delaying the second round of Market Facilitation Programme (MFP) payments, National Farmers Union (NFU) is insisting the administration move forward with the payments and develop a long-term solution to mitigate substantial market loss for US farm exports.


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"Months ago, President Trump entered and escalated this trade war with China and much of the rest of the world, depressing already low farm prices and ruining America’s reputation as a reliable trading partner."
Roger Johnson, NFU President

Back in July, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would make available $12 billion in aid for American farmers and ranchers struggling with unsustainably low farm prices due to trade volatility from the administration’s trade war with China.

A first round of payments through MFP was announced in August, and information about the second round was expected to be released in early-December. USDA contends the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is holding up the payments.

In response to the bit of information, NFU President Roger Johnson said: "Real, lasting damage from the President’s trade war has been done to all of US agriculture, and the pain is already being felt by America’s family farmers and ranchers.

"Months ago, President Trump entered and escalated this trade war with China and much of the rest of the world, depressing already low farm prices and ruining America’s reputation as a reliable trading partner.

"Markets that took decades to build were shattered in less than a year, China has already diversified its suppliers, and other countries are sure to do so as well. This means substantial, long-term trade market issues for US agriculture.

"Now, during this period of significant financial strain, is not the time to renege on promises to farmers to help mitigate the losses.

"The farm sector has already lost far more value to this trade war than the MFP payments will provide, and damages due to lost markets will persist long in to the future.

"The administration should be doing everything it can to protect the men and women who feed, fuel and clothe this nation.

"That means following through with short-term relief through MFP payments and working with Congress to significantly bolster the family farm safety net for years to come.

"This long-term problem requires a long-term solution."


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