May 24, 2019Western Growers calls USDA’s trade mitigation package ‘insufficient’ for farmers
In response to the release of the Trump administration’s latest trade assistance package, Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“We appreciate the efforts of the administration to again partially offset the damages being incurred by the agriculture industry as a result of the ongoing trade war with China. In particular, we are pleased that the direct payment options have been expanded to include both table grapes and the broader tree nut industry.
“However, we are disappointed that funding for the export promotion program was cut in half, to just $100 million, despite the fact that it was massively oversubscribed during the last round of trade assistance. As a silver lining, we see this situation as an opportunity to open up new markets for American agricultural products in other parts of the world.
“Regardless, it is important to acknowledge that the current trade aid package — as was the case with the last one — will be insufficient to make the industry whole. Indeed, it will take American farmers many years, if ever, to recover from the lost trade revenues and, more importantly, lost markets that have resulted from the continuation of trade disruptions with China.
“As I stated in response to the last trade mitigation plan, our farmers are competing in a global marketplace with rivals who are already taking advantage of the supply gaps left by these artificial trade barriers. We again urge the rapid and successful conclusion of our trade conflicts with China and the restoration of commerce between American family farms and buyers across the globe.”
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.