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Trump acknowledges Ag pain due to tariff talk

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President Trump, in a speech Thursday, admitted publicly his trade crackdown is causing United States farmers and ranchers to feel pain, according to Politico. Trump also says steps will be taken to address that reality.

President Trump has directed Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue “to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.” Perdue told Politico that he would use all of USDA’s authorities to ensure U.S. agricultural interests are protected.

Perdue said the prospect of an extended trade war might require Congress to take some extraordinary measure in the next farm bill. The USDA can also utilize funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to stabilize and support farm income and prices.

Producers have already been caught between China and the U.S. Beijing imposed tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, including pork, fruit, nuts, and wine, in retaliation for American duties placed on steel and aluminum coming into the country from across the world, including China. The Chinese Commerce Ministry says it doesn’t want a trade war “but we aren’t afraid of fighting one.”