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News Archive

Month: April 2018

Tariff Impact: Farmers for Free Trade Releases New Report Highlighting How Chinese Retaliation from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Taxes American Farmers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 4/24/18                                   CONTACT: [email protected]

FFT releases ‘Farmers Pay the Price’ a guide to how retaliatory tariffs from the 232 trade action hurt American exports of fruit, nuts, pork and other commodities


(Washington, D.C.) – Farmers for Free Trade, a bipartisan campaign to rebuild support for trade at the grassroots level, today released a new report highlighting the significant impact Chinese retaliation from steel and aluminum  tariffs will have on U.S. wine, almond, walnut, pork, cherry, and many other commodity producers. The report also shows how economies of certain states will be hit hardest as a result. This new report is a part of the ongoing effort by Farmers for Free Trade to illustrate the negative impacts tariffs on American agriculture and amplify the voices of the many farmers who will be hurt by them.

“The tariffs described in this report are a tax on American farmers. They increase the cost of exporting, depress the prices of farm futures, and end up hurting the bottom lines of farmers in states across the country,” said Senators Richard Lugar and Max Baucus, Co-Chairs or Farmers for Free Trade. “They also incentivize trading partners like China to look to other markets for their imports. That means that trading relationships that took decades to develop can evaporate overnight. And as many farmers and trade experts know, once you lose an export market it doesn’t come back immediately, in fact, it often takes many years for trading relationships to recover.”

Some of the top states impacted include California, Iowa, Washington, Missouri, and North Carolina.  Retaliatory tariffs from the Section 232 trade action on steel and aluminum are 15 percent on all products excluding pork, which faces a 25% tariff.

Farmers for Free Trade will join with farmers from across California and the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on Thursday, April 26th in Sacramento for an event that will highlight the negative impacts of these tariffs on California exports. For more on that event please contact [email protected],

Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan campaign to rebuild support for trade and is dedicated to supporting and expanding the economic benefits of free trade for farmers and ranchers. It’s working to keep, enhance and advance trade agreements by lending a pragmatic voice to negotiations impacting the industry.  Farmers for Free Trade is co-chaired by former U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). For more information, please contact [email protected], follow us @FarmersForTrade or visit




Farmers for Free Trade Statement on Possible Government Program for Farmers on Tariffs

(Sheridan, Wyoming) – Today, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade released the following statement after reports that the Administration is crafting a plan to attempt to mitigate the negative impacts of retaliation on farmers from proposed tariffs with a government-run mitigation program. The Administration has not yet released details on who would receive government assistance, how they might qualify, when a program could be put into place, or how long it would last.

“Farmers need sustained access to our second-largest agriculture export market. A mitigation program can’t replace markets that will be lost, and long-term impacts will remain. If farmers must resort to an uncertain, unsustainable government program while our competitors lock in long-term contracts, the damage will be significant and long lasting.

“A government-run mitigation program would be, at best, an ineffective Band-Aid on a major self-inflicted wound. If we want to reverse the damage these tariffs are inflicting on farmers, the solution is simple: reverse the tariffs themselves. We need to move immediately to begin meaningful negotiations with China to end these tariff threats.

“Tumbling commodity futures and increasing input prices have already taken a toll on farmers, ranchers and ag businesses. Waiting for government bureaucrats to decide who qualifies for aid and who doesn’t, and then hoping each year that the aid continues, isn’t the solution. We’re asking that the Administration take strong decisive action today to de-escalate a trade war that has already claimed farmers as the first casualty.”


Statement from Farmers for Free Trade on China Targeting U.S. Ag Exports following Section 301 Tariffs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/4/18                                     CONTACT: [email protected]

(Bozeman, Montana) – Today, Senator Max Baucus, Co-Chair of Farmers for Free Trade, released a statement after China announced plans to target U.S. ag exports as retaliation for U.S. tariffs stemming from the section 301 investigation. The full list of U.S. exports being targeted by China is available HERE.

“American farmers are waking up this morning to the prospect of a 25% tax on exports that help sustain their farming operations. Farmers are watching as commodity futures tumble and the costs of a trade war come directly out of their pockets. Cotton, soy, sorghum, beef and the other commodities China has targeted are at the heart of the American agricultural economy. These commodities support not only farmers, but entire rural communities. A 25% export tax on these commodities into our second largest agricultural export market will hurt farmers, but also harvesters, processors, truck drivers, rail workers, and main street businesses that rely on a strong agricultural economy. We urge the Administration to reconsider escalating this trade war and will continue to work to amplify the voices of American farmers who are paying the price for it.”


Statement from Farmers for Free Trade on Release of Section 301 Tariff List

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/3/18                                     CONTACT: [email protected]

(Sheridan, Wyoming) – Today, Senator Max Baucus, Co-Chair of Farmers for Free Trade, released the following statement on the Section 301 tariff announcement.

“Farmers are going to get squeezed by this decision from all sides. First, the tariffs the U.S. announced today will make the ag equipment and inputs they rely on more expensive. Then they’ll  face new tariffs on their exports when China retaliates. And as we saw  yesterday, China is more than willing to target American farmers with retaliatory tariffs on our ag exports which will hurt farmers, main street businesses and consumers. As U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said on trade retaliation: “farmers get the short end of the stick.

“American farmers are watching this daily trade escalation closely, and they are worried. With ag incomes already slumping in the U.S., new tariffs could mean real trouble for the entire ag supply chain. We continue to urge the Administration to listen to farmers across rural America who can’t afford new taxes on their exports. Farm country is calling for an end to this trade war. We hope the administration will listen.” 

Farmers for Free Trade is the leading coalition of businesses and associations advocating for trade policies that support U.S. agriculture.

For more on Farmers for Free Trade visit:


FFT Chair Baucus on Chinese Tariffs: “This is a Tax on American Farmers”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/2/18                                     CONTACT: [email protected]

Statement from Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus on China Imposing Tariffs on American Agriculture Products

(Bozeman, MT) – Today, Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus released the following statement after China imposed new tariffs on American agricultural exports as retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“This is a tax on American farmers, brought about by protectionist trade policies. American farmers appear to be the first casualties of an escalating trade war. With farm incomes already declining, farmers rely on export markets to stay above water. These new tariffs are a drag on their ability to make ends meet.

“This could be the calm before the storm. While $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs is a major hit, the retaliation expected on agriculture from the 301 trade action could be broader and deeper. Now is the time to deescalate both the trade rhetoric and actions that have brought us to a point where American farmers are being targeted.”

·       See the agricultural products China is imposing tariffs on HERE. (NOTE: tariffs will be 15% excepts for pork which will be imposed at 25%.)

·       Farmers for Free Trade is currently airing TV ads on cable news, online, and on ag outlets across the country warning against retaliation. Watch the latest ad featuring an Indiana soy farmer HERE.


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