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Alabama Farmers Federation president: ‘We encourage continued talks to reach a trade deal with China’

Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell on Thursday praised the Trump administration for new relief from retaliatory Chinese tariffs and called for a trade deal to soon be reached to solve the longterm strain on the state’s agriculture industry.

Parnell released a statement regarding U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announcing further details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the administration continues to work on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals.

This came after President Donald Trump in May directed Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions.

Background as follows, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Federation:

American farmers have dealt with unjustified retaliatory tariffs and decades of non-tariff trade disruptions, which have curtailed U.S. exports to China and other nations. Trade damages from such retaliation and market distortions have impacted a host of U.S. commodities. High tariffs disrupt normal marketing patterns, raising costs by forcing commodities to find new markets. Additionally, American goods shipped to China have been slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops. These boost marketing costs and unfairly affect our producers. USDA is using a variety of programs to support American farmers, ranchers, and producers.

The administration will utilize the Market Facilitation Program, Food Purchase and Distribution Program and Agricultural Trade Promotion Program to assist agricultural producers while Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.

Parnell emphasized that Thursday’s announcement is good news for Yellowhammer State farmers.

“President Trump is delivering on his promise to help producers sustain retaliatory tariffs imposed on our farmers by China,” Parnell said. “We encourage continued talks to reach a trade deal with China and appreciate the administration recognizing the urgent need our farmers are experiencing.”

In a statement of his own, Perdue outlined that China and other nations have not played by the rules for a long time, adding that Trump is the first president to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices.

“Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers,” Perdue stated. “Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.”

Read details of the agricultural relief package here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn