Farmers for Free Trade Hopeful Amid Signals of Possible End to China U.S. Dispute

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Farmscape for March 6, 2019

Full Interview 7:35 Listen

The Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade says resolution of the U.S. China trade war, an end to U.S. Steel and Aluminum tariffs, especially with Canada and Mexico, and passage of the USMCA are the top priorities for U.S. agriculture. Global trade tensions continue to disrupt markets for agricultural products pressuring agricultural commodity prices throughout North America. Brian Kuehl, the Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade, says we’re in the midst of a multi front global trade war and unfortunately farmers are the first and the primary casualties in that trade war.

Clip-Brian Kuehl-Farmers for Free Trade:
First and foremost in everyone’s mind I think is the China trade dispute. We need to get that resolved.
The good news is that President Trump and his administration are sending signals that they may be close to a deal with China. We hope that’s the case and I think there’s a couple of things that we’d like to see. Number one we’d like to see the tariffs rolled back because tariffs and retaliatory tariffs are squeezing U.S. farmers so we need to get those taken care of. Number two we’d like some benefits in this trade agreement for agriculture. We’re frankly expecting that a lot of the benefits will flow to other market sectors in the U.S. not necessarily to agriculture but we’re hoping there will be some benefit to agriculture since we’ve taken the lion’s share of the pain. Then the steel and aluminum tariffs, we need to get those resolved, specifically with Canada and Mexico. We’ve got to end those tariffs, get back to the business of trade with those two countries. Then finally we’ve got to pass the new NAFTA Agreement, the USMCA Agreement. We’re encouraging Congress to take that up and pass it into law.

Kuehl says countries all over the world have retaliated against U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, China has retaliated against U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars worth Chinese imports and, when you add the uncertainty over the USMCA and the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership there’s been a lot of hits to U.S. agriculture over the past two years.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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