FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2018
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON – Amidst reports that the White House is delaying the second round of Market Facilitation Program (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 U.S. farm exports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in July 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.
NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the news:
“Real, lasting damage from the President’s trade war has been done to all of U.S. 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 U.S. 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.”
To download an audio file of Roger Johnson’s quote, visit our website at nfu.org/audio.
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.