Soybean Farmers Want Trade, Not Aid

Soybean farmers want trade, not aid and urge removal of food as weapon in ongoing U.S. – China Trade Dispute. The following statement courtesy of ISA President Bill Shipley who grows soybeans in southwest Iowa.

 The $12 billion aid package announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide short-term assistance to rural communities struggling under the economic stress of continued trade disruptions.

 Long-term, the best remedy to low prices is resuming trade with established export markets.

 The Iowa Soybean Association is reviewing the provisions of the just-announced aid package closely. They include: direct payments to farmers to mitigate lower prices resulting from the tariffs; direct commodity purchases by USDA; and a program similar in purpose to the current Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) programs.

 While the Administration’s effort to mitigate the short-term impact of tariffs on exports and prices through payments to farmers and commodity purchases provides some relief, it is not the solution. We strongly encourage the White House to immediately develop and embark on a long-term plan that replaces reduced exports and improves the competitiveness of U.S. soybeans.

 Net farm income is down almost 50 percent since 2013. Now is not the time for continued uncertainty for U.S. agriculture and the millions of jobs it directly impacts. A swift resolution grows more critical each day as farmers prepare for harvest and meetings with lenders, suppliers and land owners to make plans for next year.

 We join with the American Soybean Association in backing the swift resolution of NAFTA and negotiating new bilateral trade agreements to expand and diversify our export markets, long-term market development efforts, including increased funding of FMD and MAP and waterway infrastructure improvements that can expedite the movement of soybeans to international markets. 

Not funded by the soybean checkoff.

The Iowa Soybean Association (www.iasoybeans.com) develops policies and programs that help Iowa’s more than 40,000 soybean farmers expand profit opportunities while promoting environmentally sensitive production using the soybean checkoff and other resources. The association was founded in 1964 and is governed by an elected volunteer board of 22 farmers. It strives to be honest and transparent, fact-based and data driven and committed to environmental stewardship, collaborations and partnerships.