August 15, 2018
Farmers for Free Trade, a national bipartisan campaign that is promoting free trade and fighting against recent tariffs levied by President Donald Trump, had representatives last week at Minnesota Farmfest.
They shared information about trade impacts on the U.S. and collected signatures for a large poster that called for free trade.
The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is working with the organization and supports its efforts.
When asked why it seems trade negotiations have dragged on, MFB President Kevin Paap said trade deals are difficult to negotiate as both sides figure out what they truly want or need, and what they are willing to let the other trading partner have.
“You’ve got to figure out you don’t get everything you want. You get some things you can live with,’ he said. “Especially in certain cultures, you have to save face and have to come back with something you negotiated. They are partnerships. You have to work together and value everyone involved.”
Recent tariffs imposed by the U.S. could backfire and cause Minnesota to lose $498 million in exports, according to reports citing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
To further spread the work about the economic impact of trade, Farmers for Free Trade organizers have launched a media campaign called “Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,” a mix of radio, television and print advertising that will run in Minnesota and nine other Midwest states in August and September.
“These ads will speak to American farmers who are watching the value of their hard work decrease every day, as tariffs force the price of their crops and livestock downward,” said Sara Lilygren, president of the Farmers for Free Trade board, in a news release. “They are messages from farmers to farmers about how decisions in Washington, D.C., are hurting their farms, their neighbors and the economy of rural America. We are taking the message that tariffs hurt ag directly to farmers at their breakfast tables, on their combines, and in the farm news outlets they check every single day.”
Farmers for Free Trade is co-chaired by former U.S. Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).
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