The following is a statement from Texas farmer Wesley Spurlock, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on proposed tariffs and trade with China.
“There are no winners in a trade war, only casualties. As trade tensions continue to mount with China, the expanded list of tariffs on food and agriculture exports are making America’s farmers the first casualties.
“Our corn farmers have worked for decades to support fair and open trade practices because we understand that trade is a two-way street. In today’s global economy, we know that we need to be competitive to grow and maintain our market share. Our farmers have done that, which is why agriculture has a positive trade balance. In 2018, the U.S. is forecast to export $139.5 billion in agricultural goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S. Instead of new protectionist policies, our nation’s focus should be on growing market access and promoting expanded trade from our most competitive industries.
“We do have a window of opportunity to reach a mutually beneficial trade position with China until the time that tariffs are fully implemented. We need to be measured, professional and business-like in our approach to keeping the trade doors open with China. Equally important, we need the President to understand the implications that these trade actions have for America’s farm families.”
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.