Some Republicans say the best thing Congress could do to help farmers withstand the turmoil in trade policy is to pass a new farm bill. But economists say the legislation is unlikely to offer much relief to farmers, especially soybean growers, even if commodity prices don’t recover from their current tariff-induced slump.
It was more than two months ago, in early May, when Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sat down on a Tuesday morning with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in his second-floor office suite at USDA headquarters to discuss how they could push the Europeans into lowering trade barriers on U.S. farm commodities.
When USDA officials announced last week that they were planning to help farmers hard hit by trade disputes with up to $12 billion in assistance, the news was largely welcomed in farm country as a way to provide short-term relief. But new concerns are emerging.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue was adamant in his comments to reporters today that the myriad ag issues that separate the U.S. and European Union be negotiated in upcoming trade talks, but EU officials again said that wouldn’t happen.