On Tuesday the Trump administration announced it would extend $12 billion in emergency aid to American farmers impacted by tariffs imposed by China on American farm goods. In Alabama, the announcement drew a mix of reactions.
The decision for aid came after China imposed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff last week on several crops Alabama farmers export like soybeans and cotton. The aid programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets through market facilitation, food purchase and distribution, and trade promotion.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the aid in a call to reporters, saying the programs “are a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our agricultural producers to force the United States to cave in.”
Here’s what Alabamians are saying:
Alabama 4th District U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt:
President Trump and Secretary Perdue took action to stand by farmers who are suffering from illegal trade retaliation. Secretary Perdue called me earlier Tuesday to discuss these measures. The actions and funding announced, demonstrate that the President has not forgotten the American farmer and that agricultural producers will not bear the brunt of unjustified retaliation by foreign governments.
As Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, I have worked to ensure that protective measures and funding would be available should our nation’s agriculture producers be confronted with such abusive policies enacted by foreign leaders. Any funds spent will be temporary. This will ensure that our farmers are able to make ends meet while the Trump Administration works out more fair deals for farmers, ranchers, and producers who want to sell their products overseas.
I applaud President Trump for standing-up to China and other foreign government’s unfair trade practices. If our markets here are open to their goods then their markets should be open for American agriculture and manufacturing.
Nearly every farm in Alabama is a family farm. Farm families need confidence to know they can get their products to market so they can put food on the table. Thanks to the whiplash of Donald Trump’s rollercoaster trade war, they don’t have confidence they can make ends meet right now.
This $12 billion ‘band-aide’ addresses a problem we can fix for free – unnecessary tariffs blocking American farmers and manufacturers out of markets around the world. Taxpayers should never foot the bill for unsustainable policies. In their silence and failure to act, Congress and Rep. Mike Rogers are supporting bad trade policy and government bailouts along the way. That’s irresponsible and unacceptable. Rogers’ complicity in this insane trade war is hurting Alabama families and killing jobs. It’s time to put the brakes on this administration’s trade disaster. Getting out Uncle Sam’s credit card is not the solution.
We appreciate President Trump’s administration recognizing the impact intense trade negotiations are having on U.S. farmers and providing assistance to weather tough economic times,’ said Walker, the Federation’s director of national programs. ‘Alabama farmers remain hopeful the ultimate solution will be a healthy trade environment where U.S. agriculture can compete on a level playing field with the rest of the world.
Doug Jones | U.S. Senator (via Twitter)
Many of your tariffs are not the greatest—they’re the worst. Your auto tariff/tax threatens 57k AL jobs & $11B in exports. Retaliatory tariffs/taxes threaten $170M in AL soybean exports 2 China annually. Your tariffs/taxes are great for 1 thing: killing US jobs.
John McMillan | Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries
These three programs will allow the administration to continue to work on long-term trade deals. The end goal is to have an even playing field for our country’s producers.