Mar 29, 2018
WATCH - National Ad Features Indiana Soy Farmer and Former State Trooper Brent Bible who cautions: “Our farm and many others like ours will be one of the first casualties of a trade war.”
American Soybean Association President: “Retaliation that reduces demand and prices for our crops will further harm farmers and rural communities that depend on exports.”
Farmers for Free Trade today released a new national cable television advertisement that highlights the damaging impact retaliation from a series of new tariffs would have on critical American exports. The spot features Indiana soy and corn farmer, and former Indiana state trooper, Brent Bible whose soy operation, like similar producers, relies heavily on exports to China.
“Today, we farm about 5000 acres and raise primarily corn and soybeans,” Bible says in the 30 second spot. “I’m supportive of the Trump administration, but I have a lot of concerns about current actions that have been taken on trade and tariffs. The fact that China is our number one soy bean customer makes us very vulnerable. Our farm and many others like ours will be one of the first casualties of a trade war.”
The message to the president will run for the next two weeks on cable news channels including Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. It will run in the D.C. and Florida markets. The ad will also run online and in ag publications across the country This is the second in a series of Farmers for Free Trade ads that bring the voices of real farmers across America into the trade debate. The first ad featured fourth-generation Montana farmer, Michelle Erickson-Jones. Farmers for Free Trade has also launched a Voice of the Farmer tool on their website that allows farmers to film short messages of support for ag trade that can be shared with lawmakers.
Today’s ad comes following tariff announcements on steel and aluminum and on the section 301 intellectual property investigation. Already, China has announced $3 billion in retaliatory tariffs stemming from the steel and aluminum action, with the bulk of the tariffs targeting ag exports. It is expected that China will also retaliate against U.S. exports in response to the 301 tariffs.
“China is looking to hit us where it hurts most. That’s why they are going after American ag exports,” said Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair and former Montana Senator Max Baucus. “We are already seeing fruit, wine and other ag exports being targeted because of the Administration’s actions and we will likely see more tariffs on ag exports in the near future. In a trade war nearly everyone loses, but nobody pays a stiffer price than American farmers.”
“The farmers whose livelihoods are on the line need to be heard,” said Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair and former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. “Which is why I’m proud to see Brent Bible from my home state come forward to voice the concerns of soy and corn farmers everywhere. The administration needs to understand how the unintended consequences of a tit-for-tat trade fight are going to cause pain in rural communities across the country.”
“Crop prices are down 40 percent; farm income is down 50 percent, just in the last five years. Retaliation that reduces demand and prices for our crops will further harm farmers and rural communities that depend on exports” said John Heisdorffer, Iowa farmer and president of the American Soybean Association. “Through groups like Farmers for Free Trade, we’re able to shine a valuable spotlight on Brent, and the thousands of farmers like him who stand to lose if we face retaliation from our largest customer.”
Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan, non-profit campaign to rebuild support at the grassroots level for trade policies that benefit American agriculture. Farmers for Free Trade works to amplify the voices of millions of American farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses who want to open new markets for American ag products, protect free trade policies, and reduce risk and uncertainty. Farmers for Free Trade, which is backed by major ag organizations and commodity groups is leading efforts to warn the Administration and lawmakers of the consequences of retaliation on farmers and rural communities.
For more on Farmers for Free Trade visit the website.