穿越火线官方网 www.qvqip.icu U.S. farm groups are urging the federal government to resolve trade disputes soon, saying they want open markets to export their products rather than short-term aid.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced a trade aid package that would provide up to 16 billion U.S. dollars to farmers who have been hit hard by the U.S.-initiated trade war with other major trading partners.
"While farmers themselves will tell you they'd rather have trade than aid, without the trade that has been possible, then they're going to need some support," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
The White House has slapped high tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of imports, provoking retaliatory levies on U.S. agricultural products such as soybeans, which have curtailed U.S. agricultural exports and pushed commodity prices down even further.
"Family farmers and ranchers have been grappling with low commodity prices and excess production for many years now, and the trade war with China and other major trading partners has compounded both problems," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, which advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities.
Johnson said he believes this trade aid package is "only a short-term fix" for a very long-term problem, as it fails to provide "predictable, consistent and adequate relief" across American agriculture.
"Farmers rely on markets to make a living. Our ongoing trade wars have destroyed our reputation as a reliable supplier and have left family farmers with swelling grain stores and empty pockets," Johnson said Thursday in a statement.
"The very least we can do is provide our country's struggling food producers with the certainty of a longer-term plan that also addresses the persistent and pernicious problem of oversupply," he said.
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, also stressed that the United States needs a long-term strategy that offers farmers "fair and open access to markets."
"The real, long-term solution to our challenges in agriculture is good outcomes to current negotiations with China, Japan and the European Union, as well as congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement," Duvall said Thursday in a statement.
In a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump on May 14, Duvall called on the U.S. government to swiftly resolve trade disputes with China, as some farmers are having a critical decision to make.
"I am hearing anecdotal reports of farmers, particularly those who are dealing with planting delays due to weather, deciding not to plant a crop this year because there's just no market for it," Duvall wrote in the letter.
"In 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to China declined 10 billion dollars -- about a 50 percent loss. This is a drastic reversal for what had been a growing market," he noted.
According to the USDA's weekly Crop Progress report, just 19 percent of the U.S. soybean crop had been planted as of May 19, well behind the 47-percent five-year average.