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Rep. Kind Pleads with USDA to Protect Farmers from Trade War
USAgNet - 03/14/2018

A Wisconsin Congressman is calling on the USDA to put policies in place to help protect farmers from retaliation against the United States if President Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum are imposed. In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Rep. Ron Kind said he fears Wisconsin farmers could be targeted by the European Union in response to such actions.

"Farmers across Wisconsin are reaching out to me, and fear the consequence of the President's tariff on steel and aluminum," Kind said. "Secretary Perdue needs to prepare for members of the European Union and other nations to retaliate against these short-sighted and harmful trade policies and work to find a solution to protect our farmers from being casualties of a trade war."

The La Crosse Democrat says several Wisconsin exports are targeted for retaliatory tariffs by the EU, including dairy and cranberry products.

He points out that the state is the world's largest cranberry producer, and that the U.S. dairy industry exports more than a billion dollars in products each year.

"Both markets are experiencing a trade surplus," Kind noted. "A disruption in the marketplaces for cranberries and dairy could severely impact rural economies throughout Wisconsin,"

Kind is asking the agency for an update by the end of March on what efforts the USDA will implement to prevent such retaliation from occurring.

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