Western United Dairymen on USDA Aid Announcement for International Trade Dispute

WUD applauds USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s actions announced today to try to mitigate the impact international trade disputes are having on California’s dairy farm families. The Department announced a three-prong plan to mitigate the impact of retaliatory tariffs on various agricultural commodities including payments to producers, product purchase and donation and assistance with developing new export markets.

The combination of payments to help dairy producers manage cash flow, product purchase and donation to help keep inventories in check in light of reduced export demand and resources to help develop other export markets will be welcome news in our industry.

WUD looks forward to working with USDA staff to quantify the economic damage inflicted on California’s dairy farm families as a result of the reset of international trading relationships on products other than dairy. Our producers should be able to expect compensation to equal the harm they’ve suffered. WUD staff will help quantify that economic impact in the approximately six weeks between now and the expected rollout of the program on September 4th.

California’s dairy producers have invested heavily in developing export markets for their products for more
than two decades. Their success in building dairy exports leaves our state’s industry more vulnerable than
most to volatility in foreign markets. That is another factor WUD will emphasize with USDA as details are finalized for these new trade assistance initiatives for farmers announced today.

Properly implemented the assistance announced today could help farmers through in the short term, assist with the development of additional export markets over the next several months and help the White House maintain the support in rural America it needs to achieve its trade policy objectives.

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