Hoeven Holds Roundtable to Outline Farm Purchases & Trade Promotion in Agriculture Assistance Package

MANDAN, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today held a roundtable with livestock producers, commodity groups and food distribution entities to outline the $16 billion in agriculture assistance he helped secure to aid producers impacted by retaliatory tariffs. Hoeven worked with the administration, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the White House, to secure the additional agriculture assistance, which includes funding to open new markets and bolster commodity prices. The package includes the following agriculture assistance:

  • $14.5 Billion in Market Facilitation Program Payments to producers. All Title I commodities will be covered, including soybeans, wheat, corn, canola and others.
  • $1.4 Billion in Farm Purchases of surplus commodities like fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and milk for food pantries, school nutrition programs and other organizations. 
  • $100 Million in Agriculture Trade Promotion to help develop new markets for U.S. agriculture goods.

“Our farmers and ranchers produce the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world and can compete in any market when given a level playing field. While we ultimately want better trade deals in place, this assistance is necessary with China delaying the negotiations,” said Hoeven. “We worked to secure another round of MFP payments, but also farm purchases to move surplus commodities and trade promotion to help open new markets. At the same time, we continue to urge the Administration to finalize trade agreements with China and Japan, and for the Speaker of the House to agree to take up and approve the U.S. Mexico-Canada agreement so we can pass it through Congress and get it in place.”

Opening Markets & Advancing USMCA

Hoeven also outlined important steps in advancing trade deals, including: 

  • U.S. Beef Imports to Japan - Hoeven highlighted Japan’s recent decision to open its markets to U.S. cattle products, regardless of age. USDA estimates this will increase U.S. beef exports by up to $200 million each year. Allowing U.S. cattle of any age will bring Japan in line with the current international guidelines for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and is an important step as the Administration works to negotiate a trade agreement with Japan. The senator continues to urge the Administration to finalize trade negotiations with China and Japan as soon as possible.
  • Removal of the Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs - With the removal of the section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, Hoeven said that the House Speaker should bring up and approve the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement. Earlier this month, the Administration reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to completely lift the 25 percent tariff on steel and the 10 percent tariff on aluminum, without imposing quotas and under the agreement, with Mexico and Canada removing retaliatory tariffs they placed on U.S. agriculture products. Lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs is not only important for manufacturers and agriculture producers, but helps clear the way for the USMCA to move in Congress.

The roundtable included: Tyler Stafslien, North Dakota Farmers Union; Jeff Zueger, North Dakota Ethanol Producers and Midwest AgEnergy Group; Gerald Bachemeier, North Dakota Ethanol Producers and Red Trail Energy; Jeff Mertz, North Dakota Grain Growers; Bob Ferebee, North Dakota Grain Growers; Tina Mittelsteadt, National Sunflower Association; Julie Ellingson, North Dakota Stockmen Association; Rick Clayburgh, North Dakota Bankers Association; Blake Inman, US. Durum Growers Association; Deana Wiese, U.S. Durum Growers Association; Barry Coleman, Northern Canola Growers; Neal Fisher, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Nancy Jo Bateman, North Dakota Beef Commission; Clark Price, U.S. Meat Export Federation; Claude Sem, North Dakota Farm Credit Council; Clair Hauge, North Dakota Farm Credit Council; Aaron Vetter, North Dakota Farm Credit Council; Dana Bohn, North Dakota Farm Credit Council; Paul Thomas, North Dakota Corn Growers; Tamara Heins, North Dakota Pork Producers; and Melissa Anderson, North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Food Distribution Program Manager.