Tuesday Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) met with local farmers and agriculture officials to discuss why so many farmers have been struggling the past few years.
“One of the quickest and surest things that we can do that would help our family farmers get a better price is to end the trade war and the retaliation that it’s caused. Mexico is our number one dairy export market, we’ve lost that now because of the president’s trade war and trying to end that so we can start exporting that product again would help our family farmers in a relatively short period of time,” said Kind.
For the past four years Pork Farmer AV Roth, and his Crawford County farm, have seen irreversible losses due to tariffs and a lack of free trade.
“25 percent of the pork gets shipped outside the U.S. If we keep these tariffs on and we don’t get them done, 25 percent of the pork producers in the U.S. will be done. That could be me, that could be a chance of (my daughter) in the future of being a pork producer. That’s how dire it is right now,” said Roth.
The next step after ending the trade wars, Congressman Kind says, is finalizing and agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada known as the USMCA.
The trade agreement would secure greater market access for farmers and level labor standards, according to federal government officials.
Local farmers say despite the damage that has already been done, they are optimistic a resolution will soon come.
“I think USMCA, I thought it was going to be done at the end of last November. I see it coming to Congress and getting it done this summer, before the August recess,” said Roth.
The USMCA, formerly known as NAFTA, was originally signed by all three countries late last year but needs congressional approval being it can start taking effect.