Farm Bureau leader warns farms could be lost in trade war

The Farm Bureau’s public policy leader Dale Moore on Tuesday said some farms may be lost in the U.S. trade war, but Trump's policies “may be better for some farmers in the long-term.”

Moore said that farmers appreciate the $12 billion in emergency aid the administration is planning to provide to help agriculture farmers hit hard by retaliatory tariffs, but it might not be enough for some farms in the short term.

“Is there some sense that they could just wait out this storm, things will be better for farmers,” Hill.TV “Rising” co-host Buck Sexton asked of farmers trying to ride out rising trade tensions.

“You have to understand that it may be better for some farmers in the long-term, but some of the farmers that are currently engaged in agriculture may not be around,” Moore said.

"They’ve got bills to pay. Secretary Purdue made the point himself ‘you can’t pay bills with patriotism,’ ” Moore said.

The assistance plan will be meted out in three ways, including direct payments to some producers, government purchases of commodities to distribute to feeding programs like soup kitchens and the development of new export markets.

Moore points out that that “virtually every commodity in this country” is on China’s list of tariffs.

“It’s one thing when you’ve got a little bit of trade that puts a little gravy on things, but when you’ve got commodities that 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent of what we produce in this country gets exported ... you take that away it doesn’t take very long for the bankers to shut you down,” Moore said.

In June, Trump announced an additional 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. China vowed to retaliate immediately with tariffs of the “same scale,” and accused Trump of instigating a trade war.

Chinese tariffs have targeted a number of agriculture products in the U.S., including soybeans, corn, beef and pork.

— Tess Bonn