WASHINGTON– Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) took to the House Floor in support of modifying the Farm Bill to protect farmers who are being hurt by the Trump Administration’s reckless and impulsive trade war. At a time when our farmers are facing a downturn in the agricultural economy and tightening market conditions, this partisan Farm Bill fails to provide certainty for our farmers and does nothing to protect them from the ramifications of this Administration’s actions.
Below are Congresswoman Bustos’ remarks as prepared:
Hardworking families across the heartland know firsthand what the negative impacts of trade can look like.
They lived through it in Galesburg, Illinois, when Maytag padlocked the factory gates and sent every single one of those good paying jobs down to Mexico.
They lived through it in Freeport, Illinois, when vulture capitalists bought out the Sensata factory, boarded up the windows, boxed up the equipment and sent those jobs overseas to China.
And today, at the end of planting season, corn growers, soybean farmers and pork producers across the heartland are getting hit in their wallet by the Trump Trade War.
Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, I rode in a John Deere tractor with a young soybean farmer named Jared Kunkle, as he planted his soybeans.
You see, right now, as planting season wraps up, our farmers are making a lot of tough decisions.
That’s because in Illinois, and many of our neighboring states, our soybean farmers sell about a quarter of their crop to China.
In fact, if Illinois was its own country, we’d be the fourth largest producer of soybeans in the world.
So when President Trump’s thumbs got the better of him and tweeted us into a trade war with China – there were very real consequences for the families I serve.
And to be clear, those consequences and the harm and uncertainty they generate are being felt right now.
In fact, just this morning, there was a headline in Bloomberg news that I want to read you:
“China Buys Record Amount of Russian Soybeans as It Shuns US Growers.”
The fact is, our farmers have been struggling in a tightening market with low profit margins.
So in 2016, when President Trump stood at a podium in Iowa and proudly declared that he would “end this war on the American farmer,” they took him at his word.
Midwesterners take you at your word and they believe that when you make a promise, you better keep it.
For farmers like Jared Kunkle of Cameron, Illinois, and thousands of farmers like him, that promise has been broken.
It’s been broken by this President and now, if you don’t support us on this amendment, it will also be broken by this Congress.
So I urge you – don’t break your word to the American people.
Support this measure to protect our hardworking farmers and ranchers from the Trump Trade War.
Let’s work together, and, as the President says, “end this war on the American farmer”.