Agriculture Groups Oppose Tariffs

DanIndustry News Release, Trade

agricultureThe White House announced that it plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. And many fear that will trigger potential retaliatory actions against American agriculture. Thus, various groups have sent out releases voicing their opposition to these tariffs.

National Pork Producers Council

NPPC Statement on Latest Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The National Pork Producers Council has consistently stated its concern about retaliation against U.S. agriculture, including pork, in response to tariffs placed by the United States on steel and aluminum imports. Today’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada, critical export markets, significantly heightens our concern as Mexico is already threatening to retaliate against U.S. pork. U.S. pork shipped $1.5 billion of product to Mexico, its largest export market, and $792 million to Canada, its fourth-largest market, last year.

Global export market uncertainty has resulted in considerable lost value for U.S. pork producers. According to Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes, hog futures dropped $18 per animal, amounting to a $2.2 billion loss on an annualized basis, since March 1 when speculation about U.S. pork access to the critical Chinese market began.

The market disruption caused by export market uncertainty comes at a time when U.S. pork is expanding production to record levels. Five new pork processing plants have recently opened or will soon begin operations, increasing U.S. pork production capacity by approximately 10 percent from 2015 levels by next year. Exports accounted for more than $53 of the average $149 value of a hog last year and support over 110,000 U.S. jobs.

We call for an end to these trade disputes so that hard-working U.S. pig farmers can do what they do best: meet global demand for one of our nation’s most competitive export products, one that favorably impacts U.S. trade imbalances with countries around the world.

National Corn Growers Association

Tariffs put U.S. Farmers in Jeopardy

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), made the following statement after the White House announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, triggering potential retaliatory actions against American agriculture.

“Farmers are busy with planting season but are moving forward without knowing who will buy their crop when it’s harvested later this year. With a 52 percent drop in net farm income over the last five years and depressed commodity prices, this is not the time to face such a burden. This uncertainty impacts every step of the agriculture economy, from securing financing to marketing.

“Imposing tariffs has the potential to undermine positive relationships with our closest allies and erode long-standing market access. NCGA urges policymakers to strengthen cooperation with our trading partners and stay at the negotiating table.”

Farmers for Free Trade Statement on Imposition of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the E.U.

“These tariffs will harm U.S. farmers and take many American farm operations to the breaking point.”

“American farmers overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2016 but will not be silent in the face of trade wars that harm U.S. agriculture.”

Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade made the following statement after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the U.S. will place steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada, and the E.U. All of the targeted countries are expected to place retaliatory tariffs on American ag products.

“This announcement opens the floodgates to billions in new tariffs on American agriculture. The list of countries targeting or planning to target American ag exports now includes 28 E.U. members, our closest trading partners in Canada and Mexico, and the world’s largest export markets in China and India. These are markets that the American heartland depends on for economic survival.

“These tariffs will harm U.S. farmers and take many American farm operations to the breaking point. Already, farmers are grappling with the impact of previous tariffs which have caused falling commodity futures, higher equipment prices, and the markets they’ve fought to get into for decades to vanish overnight. The addition of new retaliatory tariffs on everything from bourbon, to rice, to orange juice and cranberries will only widen the pain to additional farmers across the country.

“American farmers overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2016 but will not be silent in the face of trade wars that harm U.S. agriculture. This summer, as lawmakers return home, the voices of farmers who are bearing the brunt of trade chaos and uncertainty will be heard.  For many farmers, this is a matter of economic survival.  We will continue to fight to ensure the Administration is listening to America’s rural communities in the weeks and months ahead.”

U.S. Grains Council Statement On Section 232 Tariffs On Mexico, Canada And The European Union

A statement from U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight:

“The U.S. Grains Council is deeply concerned about new tariffs set to be implemented at midnight on steel and aluminum from Mexico, Canada and the European Union, three key markets for U.S. grain and related products.

“Based on information we have heard from our customers and past experience, we have every reason to believe U.S. agriculture, including the products we represent, will be among the first hit by counter measures from our trading partners.

“These countries are among our closest neighbors and friends. We have spent years building markets in these countries based on a mutual belief that increasing trade benefits all parties.

“We had strong hopes this situation would be averted permanently, but it now appears we need to prepare for retaliation and its direct impact U.S. farmers. Our global staff is doing this to the best of their abilities as we continue to follow new developments.”