Rep. Abraham: Congress must save soybean farmers
Congressman Ralph Abraham filed a bill Monday to help Louisiana soybean farmers mitigate losses created by Chinese tariffs.
Thousands of acres of Louisiana soybeans were left to rot in the field because of a lack of storage and market for the crop.
China generally buys about 60 percent of U.S. soybeans, but instituted heavy tariffs on the American crop as retaliation to President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese steel and other products.
Abraham's bill would amend the MFP to allow payments in some circumstances based on “planted acres” instead of “harvested acres.”
That would allow soybean farmers who could not take their crop to market the ability to still participate in the tariff relief program.
“Louisiana soybean farmers cannot be left out of the MFP," said Abraham, R-Alto, Louisiana's only member of Congress on the House Agriculture Committee. "The problem they are facing is not of their making, and they should not be forced to bear the heaviest burden caused by market disruptions."
With less than a month to go before the end of the current Congress, Abraham has a tight window to try to thread the needle on legislation or include it as a rider on another bill.
“The U.S.D.A. told our soybean farmers that it would have their backs during these trade negotiations, and this bill ensures that the USDA will be able to honor that commitment," he said. "Congress should do the right thing by these hard-working farmers and pass this bill.”
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