In this file:


·         Trade war impacting bottom lines for Oklahoma pork producers

·         Roby announces a new round of payments to farmers impacted by the trade war

·         ‘USDA’s Bank’ Keeps Trade Aid Flowing to Farmers



Trade war impacting bottom lines for Oklahoma pork producers


by Connor Hansen, KTUL Tulsa (OK)

August 6th 2019


Oklahoma City, Okla. (KOKH) — In one of the latest escalations in America's trade war with China, Chinese officials have said their companies will stop buying U.S. farm products.


The United States exports more pork than any other country, and about six percent of American hogs come from Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma Pork Council says Chinese tariffs are taking a toll on everyone from small farm owners to the state's largest pork producers.


"Anything that impacts trade has a major impact on our bottom line," said Roy Lee Lindsey, the executive director of the pork council.


Lindsey says losses from tariffs are adding up to about $8 per hog.


He says that's about a billion dollar loss to the U.S. pork industry.


"We were expecting 2019 to be a very profitable year for pork producers," Lindsey said. "It's turned out to be a 'Hey, let's struggle to break even' kind of year for pork producers. Some folks are a little ahead of breaking even, some folks are a little behind. And eight bucks a head would have made a whale of a difference."


Pork producers are hoping the trade war comes to an end soon so they can...





Roby announces a new round of payments to farmers impacted by the trade war


By Brandon Moseley, Alabama Political Reporter

August 8, 2019


Monday, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced that farmers who have been adversely impacted by foreign retaliatory tariffs are now eligible for a second round of USDA mitigation payments.


“On Monday, the Trump Administration opened the second round of applications for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP),” Rep. Roby said. “MFP is designed to aid farmers and ranchers whose commodities have been directly impacted by foreign retaliatory tariffs, and President Trump authorized USDA to provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments through MFP.”


“These payments will be made to mitigate the losses for non-specialty crops, specialty crops, and animal products,” Roby added.


For more information about eligibility and to apply go to:


On May 23 U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that there would a second round of MFP payments to farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs.


In May 2018 President Donald J. Trump (R) announced tariffs on goods imported from a number of foreign countries, citing what he felt were unfair trade practices. One of these countries was China. China was the largest purchaser of American agricultural products, particularly soybeans. Prior to 2018, China purchased half of the soybeans grown in this country. China immediately retaliated against American farmers with tariffs and by purchasing fewer American agricultural products


For historical perspective the price of a bushel of soybeans peaked on August 12, 2012 at $17.58. It came back down to more reasonable levels of about $9.88 a bushel. On May 28, 2018, soybeans were trading at $10.21 a bushel. Then the trade war started. By July 19 the soybeans were trading at $8.19. The appearance of some success in trade talks saw soybean prices rise to $9.25 by January 19 of this year. Then the bottom fell out again and price plummeted to $8.09 by May 6. That was the lowest price in 12 years. Soybeans are currently trading at $8.53.


While China is threatening not to buy American agricultural products ever again, on Wednesday experts in the industry said that Brazil and Argentina, China’s new suppliers, do not have sufficient supply to satisfy China’s needs forcing them to come back to the U.S.


On Monday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) said at a town hall in Hamilton, “I am worried about our agriculture because of tariffs. Soybean farmers and cotton farmers are getting hit hard.”

“You can’t sell the soybeans,” Jones said. The administration is provided aid to farmers, but “Farmers don’t want a handout they want a market. The Chinese bought half of our soybeans. If something does not change farmers are going to lose that market in China. There are more

and more bankruptcies among farmers there are more and more suicides among farmers.”


The price of lean hogs also took a hit last year; but there prices have rebounded significantly after the signing of the Mexico, Canada Agreement. Mexico and Canada are the U.S.’s largest purchasers of pork, though China is also huge. Pork producers are hopeful that Congress will ratify the MCA.


There was some good news for farmers on the trade front on Friday when the United States and the European Union have reached an agreement...





‘USDA’s Bank’ Keeps Trade Aid Flowing to Farmers


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 8/8/2019


 The Trump administration can pay billions of dollars in trade aid to farmers and ranchers this year, and in 2020, too, if it wishes, because Congress quietly and reliably replenishes the funding of the “USDA’s bank.” The broad charter of the Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC) and its direct access to the Treasury mean that agriculture is the only sector of the U.S. economy to get a bailout during the Sino-U.S. trade war.


Created during the Depression, the CCC can spend up to $30 billion at a time in support of U.S. agriculture. Lawmakers are on track to bring it up to full funding this fall. In June, Sen. Debbie Stabenow said the CCC had $7.7 billion left in spending authority, an amount dwarfed by President Trump’s announcement of up to $16 billion in aid to mitigate the impact of the trade war on 2019 farm and ranch production.


The House has voted, as part of a mammoth appropriations bill, to provide “such sums as may be necessary to reimburse the Commodity Credit Corp. for net realized losses,” the bland language routinely used to pour billions of dollars into the CCC. The Senate is expected to draft its USDA funding bill, the usual vehicle for replenishing the CCC, after the August recess. The funding would ensure cash payments to producers while the trade war continues. Trump suggested on Tuesday that a third year of aid might be needed in 2020.


Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa farmer, said it was impossible to predict when the trade war would end. If China hopes to outlast Trump, who faces reelection in 2020, “then, obviously, we’re not going to have an agreement,” said Grassley. “I get the sense that farmers are sticking with the president and he’s going to continue to help them.”


Trump assailed China on Wednesday for “stealing intellectual property, targeting our farmers.” The president said, “We have to take on China. … And we’re in a very good position as to whether or not a deal will be made. I will tell you this: China would like to make a deal very badly.”


By drawing money from the CCC for Trump tariff payments, the administration in many ways is bypassing Congress in deciding how to spend federal money. Still, there are few objections from lawmakers. The CCC is “a convenient way to print money” without the internecine conflicts of drafting legislation on Capitol Hill, said an analyst. Farm groups have welcomed the aid while quietly asking for removal of the retaliatory tariffs that make the aid necessary.


“We heard loudly and clearly that farmers don’t want to get their revenue from the government, but we also know that we at the federal level have a responsibility to make sure folks aren’t left behind as a result of forces beyond their control,” said House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson after a “listening session” at a farm show, the Minnesota Farmfest, on Wednesday.


The administration has been given an unusually free hand to use the CCC as a trade war tool. To date, it has spent $10 billion to mitigate trade losses on 2018 crops and livestock, and it says that up to $7.25 billion will be paid this month on 2019 production...


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