South Dakota Delegation Urges USDA for Ag Relief During Trade Talks

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota’s congressional delegation is calling on USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide short-term economic relief to US agriculture producers, as trade talks continue.

Senators Thune, Rounds and Representative Johnson penned a joint letter to Secretary Perdue on Thursday. In the letter, they ask for protection and aid for producers during what they call a “challenging economic climate.”

The letter asks that the USDA develops a market facilitation program that addresses producers’ trade-related losses across all commodities. It also asks the USDA to allocate 2019 crop year assistance based on last year’s planted and considered acreage of each crop.

“We had to send a message, saying how serious it was for farm producers. To recognize an immediate assistance one way or another – although they do need the supplemental stuff right now, what they really want is a fair trade deal,” said Senator Rounds.

Senator Rounds says the US would have more power in negotiating with China if we were still a part of the Transpacific partnership.

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