Local Dairy Farmers, WFU President, Call out Trump’s Trade Deals as Too Little, Too Late

Jan 29, 2020

January 29, 2020
Contact: Philip Shulman (phils@wisdems.org)

Local Dairy Farmers, WFU President, Call out Trump’s Trade Deals as Too Little, Too Late

(CAMBRIDGE, WI) — Today, Dairy farmers Tina and Duane Hinchley blasted Donald Trump’s trade policies as too little too late. This comes as reports confirm that farm bankruptcies continued to spike in 2019. On a tour of their dairy and crop farm, which is comprised of 240 milking cows and 2,300 acres of land that are used to grow and corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa, they highlighted that Trump cannot turn back the clock on the irreparable damage he has caused them and other farmers across Wisconsin.

“Donald Trump’s trade policies cannot undo the damage he brought to our community. He thought he could buy us off with bailouts and now thinks he can pull the wool over our eyes with these new trade deals, but it’s too little too late. We’re not going to forget how broke his promises to us. If he actually came out and spoke with us dairy farmers he’d know this isn’t going to get us over the hump.”

The U.S. International Trade Commission found that the real economic gain that will come from the USMCA is the removal of uncertainty from Trump’s ill advised tariffs. What’s more is the Congressional Budget Office found the economic impact in 2020 from Trump’s trade wars will have a negative economic impact of up to 40% when compared to the benefit of the USMCA.

Last year, Wisconsin lost 818 dairy farms, which comprises roughly 10% of the industry. In addition, cash crop farmers have seen their revenue streams crash because of Trump’s erratic trade war, causing many to close their barn doors forever.

See below for how other farmers are responding to Trump’s trade policies.

Wisconsin Farmers Union President and dairy farmer Darin Von Ruden: Farmers across Wisconsin held out hope that Donald Trump’s trade war would be worth it — but it’s clear that the USMCA and the Phase 1 agreement with China won’t come close to fixing the widespread damage he’s caused to our way of life. He broke his promise to us to expand markets and help our balance sheets, putting countless farmers in a perilous situation. Instead of offering a new path forward Trump has virtually  maintained the status quo with Canada and Mexico. All the while China is still able to buy and sell products from other countries, which is something they started doing due to Trump’s actions. The bottom line is Trump hasn’t taken care of farmers and we’re still decades away from being over the hump.

Ginseng Farmer Cody Scozka: I had one day hoped to pass my ginseng farm on to my children the way my father passed it on to me. But because of Trump’s trade war, our market has been cut in half and now I don’t know if this is a possibility. There was hope that it’d be worth the wait but these trade deals don’t even come close to making us whole again. The only thing Trump accomplished was make our lives far harder, and we won’t forget his broken promises to us.

DPW Rural Caucus Chair Nate Timm: Farmers across our state are facing bankruptcy at record levels because of Trump’s broken promises and failed trade policies which are major contributors to this rural tragedy. He undercut our markets with China and virtually kept the status quo with Mexico and Canada. His replacement payments are totally inadequate. This is a president who clearly does not care about the carnage and pain his policies have caused in rural Wisconsin and across America. A few tweets will not comfort farmers, as they leap with their bankers and plan for another season. Trump has become a clear and present danger to the future of Wisconsin farmers.