ST. PAUL — Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) President Kevin Paap testified before the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade during their hearing on “The Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural Communities.” The hearing addressed the effects on American agriculture and rural communities of both U.S. tariffs and retaliation imposed by other countries against U.S. exports.
“Minnesota Farm Bureau strongly believes that with the current financial stress farmers and ranchers are facing, we need to maintain and expand market opportunities,” said MFBF President Paap. “The current tariffs, continuing back-and-forth retaliatory actions and trade uncertainties are hitting American agriculture from all sides and are causing us to lose our markets. Once you lose a market, it is really tough to get it back.”
“Agriculture is facing the perfect storm – trade uncertainties, decade lows in farm income, agricultural labor shortages and the uncompleted 2018 Farm Bill,” said MFBF President Paap. “It is quickly becoming more than we can handle. Clearly there are serious economic challenges not only in agriculture but also in rural communities.”
“We cannot afford to lose our place as a leader in the agricultural global marketplace. Tariffs are severely impacting our three largest markets, which are Canada, Mexico and China,” said MFBF President Paap. “Minnesota farmers recognize that more than 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside of the United States and that we have the ability to reach customers outside of our borders through protecting, modifying and modernizing our current trade agreements and expanding market opportunities through new free trade agreements. “
“Minnesota Farm Bureau strongly believes that we need to resolve trade concerns before resorting to tariffs,” said MFBF President Paap. “It is critical that we limit trade disruptions and resolve trade disputes through negotiations, not tariffs or withdrawals from other trade agreement discussions. Once you lose a market, it is really hard to get it back.”
Minnesota Farm Bureau – Farmers ● Families ● Food is comprised of 78 local Farm Bureau associations across Minnesota. Members make their views known to political leaders, state government officials, special interest groups and the general public. Programs for young farmers and ranchers develop leadership skills and improve farm management. Promotion and Education Committee members work with programs such as Ag in the Classroom and safety education for children. Join Farm Bureau today and support efforts to serve as an advocate for rural Minnesota, www.fbmn.org.
— Minnesota Farm Bureau
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