Today, former Louisiana Congressman and Tariffs Hurt the Heartland spokesman Charles Boustany (R, LA-03) released the following statement from New Orleans on the President’s speech to the Farm Bureau’s annual convention. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is a bipartisan, multi-industry campaign against the tariffs that is backed by over 150 trade organizations and ag commodity groups. For more information visit tariffshurt.com
“There is uncertainty and real fear among many farmers and ranchers about how the President’s trade policies are impacting ag. It was evident here in New Orleans all week. Farmers are tremendously patient by nature but the toll of the trade war has continued to mount to an unsustainable point. Farmers know that once you lose a market, it’s hard to get it back. Things have gotten so bad that soybeans are rotting in the fields here in Louisiana.
“Not only are we hearing about the pain in the stories of individual farmers, we are seeing it in tariff statistics. Here in Louisiana, as of October 2018, state exports had already faced $39 million in new retaliatory tariffs. Nationwide, U.S. exports, including ag products, that have been targeted for retaliation have decreased by 37% since the same time last year.
“Farm incomes are already down. The trade war has added unnecessary fuel to that decline. The President has a real opportunity in the months ahead to return certainty to American farmers. But the only way to do that is to reach agreements with our trading partners that take tariff increases off the table for good, ends the threat of new tariffs, and finally end to the crippling tariffs we are facing right now.
“Farmers, financial markets, and everyday American businesses are all reeling from these tariffs. Ending the trade war is essential to keeping America competitive in the global marketplace while growing our economy and the millions of jobs supported by trade here at home.”