Statement by Minnesota AgriGrowth Council Executive Director Perry Aasness:
St. Paul, MN – “AgriGrowth welcomes President Trump to Minnesota. Minnesota’s agriculture sector is currently dealing with a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty over the status of current trade negotiations on several fronts, including NAFTA and most recently the retaliatory tariffs placed by China. While it’s clear that China has engaged in a number of unfair trading practices that have been detrimental to some sectors of the U.S economy, unfortunately, it is the agriculture sector – farmers, agribusinesses, and food companies – bearing the brunt of these current retaliatory efforts. In recent weeks, farmers have seen significant reductions in commodity prices as a result of these retaliatory efforts, adding to an already depressed farm economy.
“We believe President Trump and his team at USDA understand how critically important negotiating trade agreements and reducing trade barriers is to agriculture. Minnesota is the fourth largest ag exporting state in the U.S., and historically the U.S. has enjoyed a trade surplus with other countries as a result of our ability to produce and process agriculture and food products to consumers worldwide.
“AgriGrowth strongly urges President Trump and his administration to keep working to resolve trade issues in a way that avoids further harm to Minnesota farmers, food companies and ag processors. We strongly support the modernization and retention of critical trade agreements like NAFTA and maintaining trade relations with countries like China. Retaliatory tariffs placed by China on U.S. pork, soybeans, beef and other ag exports have the potential of resulting in great economic harm to the ag economy in Minnesota, as well as the state’s economy overall.”
The Minnesota AgriGrowth Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan member organization representing the agriculture and food systems industry. Formed in 1968, AgriGrowth’s strategic approach to public policy advocacy, issues management and collaboration seeks to foster long-term sustainability, competitiveness, and business growth. More information can be found at agrigrowth.org or by following AgriGrowth’s Twitter account at @mn_agrigrowth