Letter to the editor: Trade aid package an admission of impact on farmers
The recently announced trade aid package for agricultural producers is an admission that the tariffs and trade war are having a significant negative impact on the bottom line of farmers. Corn farmers will receive a grand total of a half a penny per bushel for their production. A University of Illinois study indicates that farmers are being impacted by the tariffs to the tune of 44 cents per bushel. This so-called aid does not even begin to make up the difference. It also does not address the issues of reduced production due to weather or the high negative basis that we experience in North Dakota.
On top of that, this administration is granting exemptions to the Renewable Fuels Standard. This reduces the demand for corn-based ethanol, which has a further negative impact on the price of corn. Now I understand why when EPA administrator Scott Pruitt came to North Dakota, he had closed-door meetings with Rep. Kevin Cramer, Sen. John Hoeven and Gov. Doug Burgum. It was all about propping up the oil industry at the expense of corn growers.
Ag Secretary Sonny Purdue says he doesn’t like these trade wars either and admitted that farmers wouldn’t be made whole by the trade aid. If that’s the case, he should stand up to this president and explain that. Stop the trade war and the government won’t have to spend a penny, let alone $12 billion.
To repair the damage already done will take a long time, as negotiations have to take place and relationships with buyers have to be rebuilt. As a farmer, I don’t have that kind of time. When my bills and loans are due, the creditors and banker expect to be paid.