FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2020

Contact: Hannah Packman, 202-554-1600
[email protected]

WASHINGTON – Citing stock market gains, recent trade deals, and low unemployment rates, U.S. President Donald J. Trump tonight touted a “great American comeback” in his third State of the Union address. But as rural communities lag behind in many respects, this hardly paints the whole picture of the American economy.

In response to the President’s address, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s rosy outlook for the American economy is not just inaccurate – it’s insensitive to the millions of rural Americans who are struggling every day just to scrape by. Farm debt crept up to $416 billion in 2019, the highest it’s been since the 1980s farm crisis. Despite trade assistance payments, many farmers haven’t been able to withstand the financial pressures: nearly 600 farmers filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy last year ­– a shocking 20 percent spike – while thousands more decided to leave the business entirely.

“And while newly established trade deals are a bright spot for American agriculture, any tangible benefits for family farmers and rural communities are likely a long way off. This administration’s trade wars have caused real, lasting damage, both to agricultural export markets and to our reputation as a trading partner, and it will take time for both to recover. In fact, crop prices have dropped since USMCA and the phase one deal with China were signed, a strong indication that any improvements will be gradual, if at all.

 “By ignoring these problems, President Trump isn’t making them go away ­– instead, he should work to include rural America in his great comeback by rebuilding our reputation as a reliable trading partner, establishing fair and stable agricultural markets, and addressing the root causes of our current farm crisis.”

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About NFU
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.

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4 Comments

  • The general public need to read these articles from the Agriculture Community. We have to as much as we can to educate them. How do I share these?

  • President Trump has no idea of what is actually taking place in rural America, and especially to the American farmer. He depends on advisors like Sonny Perdue to keep him informed, of which is a terrible mistake. Sonny Perdue, as with almost all politicians are in bed with big business, and most likely receives benefits in ways that cannot be easily traced. I find it humiliating to the American farmer when used as a chess piece to play the game of politics. This country was built on the backs of the American farmers, and for our farmers to be used as a pawn to exert force in the political games being played, I would say is very disgraceful.

  • It seems that the American farmer wants to be used as a chess piece . Just keep hitting them in the head with a hammer because it feels so good especially when they are being paid for their vote.
    This year we will become the second largest producer in the world thanks to the tariffs which enabled Brazil to take over the number one spot. We have slowly but surely lost out on wheat, same reason. History repeats in 1931, the Smoot-Hawley tariff act forced the majority of farmers to leave and move to the factories in urban areas. I guess most farmers have never heard of the “dust bowl” and the soil depletion that occurred at that time . Because of that the next administration, Democrat , had to fight for crop insurance, soil conservation, and other farm programs in order to breathe life into farming.

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