NFU president says public, transparent process needed for any future trade aid
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson is urging the administration to follow a public and transparent process for the market facilitation program following President Trump’s announcement that farmers could receive more trade aid this year.
“They should have public hearings on this, they should invite comments so that organizations and individuals can weight in and suggest how it should be constructed, and they should do it in concert with the house and senate ag committees,” he says.
Johnson says he thinks a public and transparent process would highlight some of the inadequacies of the current program. For example, he says, the MFP process could potentially harm future farm bills.
“There is so much money that’s going out to MFP, that it dwarfs the amount of money going out to farm bill safety net programs,” he says. “It needs to be done in a way that can build political support instead of divide political support.”
Johnson says it’s important to ensure that any additional trade assistance doesn’t hurt future farm policy, which is why NFU is suggesting that the USDA consider policies for distributing financial assistance.
Johnson wrote a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue about these concerns on Friday.
Audio: Roger Johnson, Nationals Farmers Union