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Statement on USDA Trade Relief for Farmers

Washington, DC, July 24, 2018
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) released the following statement in response to USDA’s plan to offer $12 billion in relief to farmers harmed in the wake of the Administration’s trade actions. 
“While I appreciate the USDA for finally offering some relief to farmers who have been harmed by retaliatory tariffs, this effort is an acknowledgment of the costs of the Trump Administration’s lack of strategy on the trade conflicts it has initiated. These kind of retaliatory tariffs should have been expected, properly considered beforehand, and prepared for. Instead, farmers have been hung out to dry for months. I’m also worried that this short-term fix won’t be enough to address the long-term impacts these farmers face. 
“What’s more, there are many other industries that deserve trade relief as well. This includes Maine’s lobster industry, which has just been hit with an additional Chinese tariff of 25 percent. Where is relief for them and other industries that have been affected? What is the plan to restore stability for all impacted businesses, including farmers? I hope the Administration answers these questions quickly, because this problem shows no sign of getting any better any time soon.”
Pingree recently wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative citing concerns she has heard from local businesses, and has urged the Administration to pursue a more coherent trade strategy that weighs potential repercussions carefully before taking its next steps.
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