Wisconsin farmers are feeling the squeeze as the trade war intensifies.
Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association Executive Director Tamas Houlihan says specific tariffs on frozen potato products are going to make it to Wisconsin farmers.
“Wisconsin does not export a lot of potatoes, but when our friends out west, like Idaho, Washington, Oregon, when they can’t export then their potatoes have to stay on the domestic market which hurts everybody in the US.”
Houlihan says he’d much rather be able to not have to deal with retaliatory tariffs. “Our goal is to expand potato trade. It’s a priority over these mitigation efforts.”
Those mitigation efforts include a plan to distribute $12 billion to American farmers.
Houlihan says he’d much rather see better trade deals and reductions in tariffs rather than aid packages. He says a loss of trade now might never be restored.
The Trump Administration is planning to deliver a massive payout to American farmers hurt by a trade war.
That’s in line with a letter Senator Tammy Baldwin sent to the Ag Department earlier on Tuesday that called for farmer assistance.
“On top of every other challenge that our agricultural economy faces, especially dairy, the retaliatory tariffs are causing major harm.”
Under the proposal, the Trump Administration would deliver $12 billion in aid to farmers across the country. Baldwin’s letter to the USDA calls for long term fixes, and to instead focus on Chinese money manipulation and Canadian dairy tariffs.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson says farmers “want trade, not aid” while other critics say the administration is putting farmers on “welfare.”
Senator Johnson also suggested in front of reporters from Politico and The Hill that the Trump Administration is steering the country’s free market economy toward a “Soviet-style” system where “commissars” decide how to sprinkle out benefits.