Hoeven Outlines Efforts to Secure Disaster Assistance for Ranchers, Improve Access to Markets

Senator Addresses Independent Beef Association of North Dakota Annual Meeting

BISMARCK, N.D. – At the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND) annual meeting today, Senator John Hoeven outlined his efforts to help ranchers weather the challenges of an early blizzard and trade uncertainty. This includes advancing disaster assistance under the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and securing access to markets by working to finalize and approve trade agreements as soon as possible, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). 

“Farm country is in need of real relief right now,” Hoeven said. “While we’ve made important progress by securing market access for U.S. beef in Japan, the EU and Taiwan, more needs to be done, especially considering the added challenges from this year’s early blizzard. That’s why we worked to ensure ELAP and LIP are funded, and we have been urging USDA, including Under Secretary Northey, to make this assistance available as soon as possible to help ranchers recover. At the same time, we need the administration to finalize the first phase of its agreement with China to secure additional agriculture purchases, and we’re pressing the House to advance USMCA. We have the votes in the Senate, and putting this deal in place for our producers should be one of the House’s top priorities.”

Assistance under ELAP and LIP

  • As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven funded these programs, which assist livestock producers in recovering from losses due to adverse weather and other incidents.
  • The senator is urging USDA officials to provide this assistance as soon as possible and raised the priority with Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey, who oversees the Farm Service Agency (FSA), while hosting him in North Dakota last week.

Access to Foreign Markets for Beef Producers

  • Hoeven continues his efforts to advance the USMCA, which must originate in the House of Representations. USMCA will increase U.S. agricultural and food exports to Canada and Mexico by $2.2 billion, according to the International Trade Commission.
    • Last month, Hoeven outlined the benefits of passing this trade agreement with the nation’s top two trading partners as part of a colloquy on the Senate floor.
  • The senator is urging the administration to finalize the phase one trade agreement with China as soon as possible. The deal includes the purchase of $40 to $50 billion in U.S. agriculture products.
  • The administration finalized deals earlier this year with Japanand the European Union to lift tariffs and other restrictions on U.S. beef.
    • In August, Hoeven joined the administration at the signing of the EU agreement, under which the U.S. is guaranteed 18,500 tons of the 45,000 ton quota in the first year and will ultimately be guaranteed 35,000 tons of the quota.
  • In September, Hoeven also helped announced the planned purchase of $960 million of U.S. beef by Taiwan