The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates both expressed disappointed following President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
A statement states both organizations have repeatedly warned of retaliation risks. They add the precedent set by such a policy would have potentially serious consequences for agriculture. The groups say the voices of farmers and many other industries were ignored in favor of an industry that is already among the most well-protected in the country.
Brian Kuehl, of Farmers for Free Trade, say his organization is also worries the move to impose tariffs will unintentionally hurt American agriculture. “These tariffs are very likely to accelerate a tit-for-tat approach on trade, putting U.S. agricultural exports in the crosshairs,” Kuehl says. “We’ve already seen China discussing tariffs on sorghum, while the EU and China have both indicated they will move forward with swift retaliation in the wake of these tariffs.”
Kuehl adds everyone agrees on the need to hold trading partners accountable, but taking unilateral action like this will have unintended consequences. “The ag sector knows from experience that our ag exports are the first to be hit by retaliation,” Kuehl said.