RESPONDING to United States farmers’ concerns over the damage the US/China trade tariff spat will cause to US agriculture, the Trump administration has foreshadowed it will offer government ‘support’ to US farmers to counter the impact.
US farmers have expressed fears that agriculture will be the first casualty in the US/China trade wrangle with retaliatory tariffs likely to have widespread, negative consequences for family farmers and ranchers (see Grain Central story).
But in a statement, US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, said the Trump administration would act to protect American farmers from any trade retaliation by China.
“There is no denying that the disruption in trade relations with China is unsettling to many in agriculture, but if the president succeeds in changing China’s behaviour, America’s farmers will reap the benefits,” the statement said.
“In the meantime, the president has instructed me to craft a strategy to support our farmers in the face of retaliatory tariffs. At the US Department of Agriculture, we have tools at our disposal to support farmers faced with losses that might occur due to downturns in commodities markets.
“But farmers should know this: They have stood with President Trump and his policies, and we will make good on our promise to stand with them as well. If China does not soon mend its ways, we will quickly begin fulfilling our promise to support producers, who have become casualties of these disputes.”