Wisconsin’s small and family farmers work hard every day to feed America and the entire world. With today’s low commodity prices, farmers are looking to sell into new global markets. As I travel the state and meet with farmers, it’s clear: Wisconsin farmers want trade − not aid.
Unfortunately, this administration’s trade policies have resulted in retaliatory tariffs directly impacting Wisconsin farms, making it harder to sell our products. Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the average Wisconsin farmer impacted by the president’s trade war will receive pennies on the dollar from the president’s farm aid package, which will do little to ease the pain of retaliation and closed markets our farmers are experiencing. On top of that, only a few commodities have been included in the president’s directive − leaving out or limiting exports Wisconsin is proud of like cranberries, corn and dairy.
I’m proud to serve on the House committee that handles trade and tariffs and am bringing the voice of Wisconsin’s farmers and manufactures back to Washington. As we continue discussions about important trade deals, the impact of tariffs and the Farm Bill, I’m making sure my colleagues see that Wisconsin’s farmers aren’t looking for government hand-outs − they just want market access and the opportunity to compete. Together, the administration and Congress needs to find a soft landing zone for American farmers, manufacturers and workers, and put an end to this reckless trade war.
I am also working with both Democrats and Republicans to ensure that the upcoming Farm Bill supports Wisconsin’s small and family farmers − not millionaires and billionaires or huge agribusiness. An agreement from the Farm Bill Conference Committee has been met, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to determine how much the new bill will cost Wisconsin’s taxpayers. I will continue to fight to ensure our hardworking Wisconsin farmers get the support they need and that support programs within the Farm Bill don’t go to millionaires in cities.
This is an important and impactful time for our rural economy, and it’s important to me that your voice is included. If you have comments or questions about the status of our trade agreements, tariffs or the Farm Bill, please call my office toll-free: 1-888-442-8040, or visit my website at kind.house.gov.
Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, represents Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District.