The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details on the 2019 Market Facilitation Program (MFP) on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The direct payment to farmers will provide $11 per head to qualifying pig farmers who have been and will be exposed to economic pressure caused by tariffs applied to farm commodities because of trade disputes between the U.S. and other countries.
“The announced USDA actions and programs are only a short-term fix,” said IPPA President Trent Thiele. “A second round of MFP is not the long-term solution that pork producers are looking for to compete in an open global market with level playing fields. Losing export markets from trade disputes with China, Japan and Mexico cost us $20 per head this past year.”
Thiele continued: “We believe the administration is on the right track for regaining those markets, and that’s where we want the focus to be. We have established valuable international trading relationships that in the past have helped offset the U.S. trade deficit and fueled Iowa’s rural economy.”
The Iowa Pork Producers Association were pleased when President Trump took action to level the playing field with Mexico in May, by withdrawing tariffs on metals and aluminum. Thiele said “Our biggest interests now are:
- re-establishing competitive trade opportunities with Japan,
- a level trading opportunity with China; and
- Congress ratifying the US – Mexico – Canada trade agreement.”