The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention was held in Austin, Texas
By Diego Flammini
U.S. President Donald Trump addressed attendees of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual convention for the third year in a row on Jan. 19.
Speaking to farmers and industry representatives in Austin, Texas, the president highlighted his administration’s efforts to support American agriculture.
“We are winning for our farmers, and we (are) winning like never before,” the president said.
President Trump spoke of two recent trade agreements: the phase one deal with China and the USMCA with Canada and Mexico.
The agreement with China, which the two countries signed last week, will help U.S. farmers regain access to a key market that was affected by the trade war.
“The deal with China will tear down market barriers and pry open vast new markets for American beef, pork, poultry, seafood, soybeans, rice, dairy, infant formula, animal feed, biotechnology, and much, much more,” the president told the AFBF crowd.
As part of the deal, China is projected to purchase US$55.8 billion worth of American ag products within the first two years.
While China and the U.S. were at odds, the Trump administration authorized US$28 billion in federal funding to help offset the effects of the trade war.
With a deal with China in place, farmers shouldn’t expect funding through a Market Facilitation Program in 2020.
“We’re hoping and expecting that trade (with China) to develop soon enough that a Market Facilitation Program will not be needed,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said during the AFBF’s annual convention, WNAX reported.
President Trump also highlighted the USMCA and its potential benefits for U.S. farmers.
The trilateral agreement, which the U.S. Senate approved last week, now heads to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
“Our dairy exports (to Canada) are set to increase by more than US$300 million dollars per year,” the president said. “Poultry exports to Canada could jump by nearly 50 per cent. Exports of eggs to both Canada and Mexico could skyrocket by as much as 500 per cent, maybe even 1,000 per cent. Very importantly, Canada will finally give fair treatment to American-grown wheat, which is a big deal to (American farmers).”
Mexico has already ratified the USMCA while Canada is preparing to introduce legislation on the agreement before the end of January.