Minnesota Farmers Union thanks Vice President Pence for visit, calls for resolution of trade disputes
May 9, 2019
United States Vice President Mike Pence visited Minnesota today as part of a national tour in support of the Trump administration’s proposed trade pact, the U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA). His schedule included a stop at a farm in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Farmers are some of those most affected by the Trump administration’s tariff actions. USMCA is not likely to fully reverse the economic damage caused by trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico and other important trade partners.
Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish issued the following statement regarding the Vice President’s visit and trade situations:
“We thank Vice President Pence for visiting Minnesota. While we appreciate the Trump administration’s work on USMCA, they must remember that Mexican and Canadian officials have said they will not ratify USMCA unless the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed in 2018 are removed from them. They have kept retaliatory tariffs in place, which are levied disproportionately against agricultural products.
“In addition, the ongoing tariff disputes with China have cost farmers a valuable market that will take decades to get back. We are alarmed that the President continues to threaten tariff increases against China, even though they are involved in negotiations. This threat has driven soybean prices down, with China threatening more retaliatory tariffs in response.
“Trade agreements are important pieces of getting fair prices for family farmers. We agree with the Trump administration’s desire to hold China accountable for its wrongdoing in trade, but its go-it-alone approach has not only cost us the Chinese market but alienated U.S. allies we need to work with us to address China’s actions and on other trade agreements.
“We call on the President, Vice President and administration leaders to create fair, cooperative trade agreements that benefit everyone.”
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).