Trade, not Aid

May 24th, 2019

Trade, not Aid
(BISMARCK, ND) – In a tone-deaf move, the Administration felt compelled yesterday – during the middle of planting season – to announce a new aid package, totaling $16 billion in an attempt to offset damages to farmers reeling from the lingering trade war.

How much each farmer receives will largely depend on the county in which they live in, instead of what they grow. It is uncertain if the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) even has enough borrowing power to fund a second tariff-relief program. It is only allowed to borrow $30 billion per fiscal year from the U.S. Treasury and last year’s bailout used a big chunk of that.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Finance Committee Chairman, insisted “Farmers don’t want aid, they want trade.”  North Dakota state Senator Jim Dotzenrod (D-Wyndmere) in talking with AgWeek echoed those remarks, adding “there is more support than you’d think.” He feels the way the U.S. went about imposing these tariffs was a mistake. “It might have worked if it had been done in concert with other countries. The U.S. by itself in this confrontation is not going to be able to make China make fundamental changes,”

“Providing financial assistance during these times is the right thing to do, but this is the second year in a row, and we just do not have the funds to do this year after year,” said Alison Jones, Communication Director for the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. “Farmers deserve more security than that. Farmers who’ve put in decades of work need to be able to rely on the markets, not politicians and the government.”