Friday, November 02, 2018

Dairy farmers still hurting from trade war, ask for more relief

"A dairy industry group is asking the US Department of Agriculture for additional subsidies, claiming they've lost more than $1 billion in revenue since May because of tariffs imposed by China and Mexico in retaliation for steel and aluminum duties," Katie Lobosco reports for CNN.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture allocated $4.7 billion this fall to farmers hurt by the trade war; about $127 million was earmarked for dairy farmers, but that's less than 13 percent of dairy farmers' losses, according to the National Milk Producers Federation, Lobosco reports.

NMPF Chairman and dairy farmers Randy Mooney sent an open letter on Oct. 23 to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for the increase. He cited four studies that estimated dairy farmers will lose between $1.17 billion to $1.5 billion in 2018, and said "significant income losses will continue" if tariffs imposed by Mexico and China, the U.S.'s two biggest export customers, remain in place. 

"In truth, the tariffs are only one of a number of problems farmers are facing. Global milk prices are low, consumption is below trend and production is above trend," Lobosco reports.

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