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Stabenow: Exports just the latest uncertainty for farmers

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says trade and exports are just the latest uncertainty farmers have to deal with.  “When they check the weather forecasts, when they check the markets when the crops are challenged by invasive pests and diseases (and) on top of all of that, there are now more unknowns around agricultural exports and trade.”

Stabenow told a Senate Ag Committee hearing on U.S. agricultural trade she heard from Michigan agricultural leaders right before the hearing.  “No surprise, I heard loudly and clearly that our farmers need markets in order to be successful and there are impacts that are occurring right now because of the uncertainty.”

Stabenow says dairy producers in her state are feeling the pain of retaliatory tariffs.  “It’s estimated that American dairy farmers will take a one-point-five billion dollar hit this year due to tariffs imposed by Mexico and China.  That’s on top of the forty-million that Michigan dairies lost in income last year due to Canada’s unfair Class 7 pricing system.”

USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney, Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, and USDA economist Robert Johansson testified and answered questions from the Senators Thursday.

 

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