A farmer walks through a drought damaged corn field in Carmi, Illinois, US, on July 11, 2012. (File photo: VCG]
American Farm Bureau Federation said Thursday that continuing trade disputes are adding to the financial burden on US farmers and ranchers, highlighting the urgency of restoring agricultural markets and mutually beneficial relationship with trading partners.
"While we are grateful for the continuing support for American agriculture from President (Donald) Trump and (Agriculture) Secretary (Sonny) Perdue, America's farmers ultimately want trade more than aid," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement.
Duvall was referring to the recently announced trade aid package that would provide up to $16 billion to farmers who have been hit hard by the US-initiated trade disputes with its major trading partners.
"These are difficult times for agriculture, and the longer these trade wars continue, the deeper the impact on farm country," Duvall said, noting that farmers are being hit with tariffs on top of already-challenging economic conditions caused by severe weather events, low commodity prices, lack of available labor and a host of other impacts.
Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, told Xinhua in a recent interview that several rounds of flooding in the Midwest since late March have significantly delayed planting operations and could lower crop yields this year.
It could take farms up to three or four years to fully recover, Hurst said, adding that some farms won't be able to recover after "taking such a financial hit."
"It is critically important to restore agricultural markets and mutually beneficial relationships with our trading partners around the world," Duvall said.
"We are hopeful that trade negotiations with China will quickly lead to a resolution of trade disputes," Duvall said, while also calling for progress in negotiations with Japan and the European Union and congressional approval of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement