Due to the trade war, more than a third of net farm income for Kansas farmers comes from Trump tariff payments, but that won't make up for lost export sales, said Republican Sen. Jerry Moran on Monday. The second-term Republican was part of a Farm Belt chorus that, after applauding the end of a trade dispute with Canada and Mexico, called for trade deals with China, Japan and the European Union.
On Wednesday, in his latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump demanded that Congress “immediately eliminate the loopholes at the Border.” The American Farm Bureau Federation asked that agricultural trade be exempted from any restrictions, and the National Farmers Union said a closure would be disastrous.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley has lots of company in considering limits on the president’s power to impose tariffs on national security grounds. In the coming weeks, Grassley expects to introduce a bipartisan bill to reform these so-called Section 232 tariffs.
Wheat growers declared victory—”a big win”—with Brazil’s agreement on Tuesday to allow duty-free import of wheat grown outside of a South American trading bloc. The so-called tariff-rate quota could result in exports worth more than $100 million a year if U.S. wheat dominates …
A year ago, half of the U.S. sorghum crop was exported. This year, only a quarter of it is headed overseas due to the U.S.-China trade war, which means the sorghum stockpile will double by the time the new crop is ready for harvest this summer. USDA's monthly Grains: World Markets and Trade report says the sorghum inventory will be the largest in 13 years.
The U.S. food and agriculture sector would lose nearly $22 billion in exports, equal to 15 percent of this year's sales forecast, if the United States scrapped NAFTA without a replacement on top of withdrawing from TPP, said three Purdue economists in a report on Monday. "Under this more pessimistic outcome, the negative trade impacts would be reflected in lower incomes for U.S. farmers, reduced land returns and labor displacement."
The Agriculture Department faces large spending cuts, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday while a White House official said President Trump will ask for one "one of the largest spending reductions in history" in the upcoming fiscal 2020 budget. Perdue told reporters that he encouraged the administration to submit a package "within the realm of negotiation," considering Congress rejected outright Trump's previous budgets.
During a day trip to North Carolina, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was thanked on Monday for the billions of dollars the Trump administration is sending to farmers to mitigate the impact of trade war with China. But he was also prodded for a resumption in exports.
Persistently low commodity prices are pushing some farmers to the financial edge, said the chairmen of the Senate and House Agriculture committees on Thursday. "We are in a very tough spot," said Senate Ag chairman Pat Roberts. The House Ag chairman, Collin Peterson, said "we are not in crisis yet" but said that continued sour conditions would sap the finances of a growing number of farmers.