Ala. farmer: Tariffs are a ‘battle that will hopefully help us win the war’

How tariffs on China impact Ala. farming

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One Alabama farmer hopes the pains from the trade war between the U.S. and China will help farmers get a fair trade deal in the end.

Andy Wendland owns Autauga Farming Company and said crops like cotton have decreased in price since last year. The Alabama Farmers Federation said part of the reason for the higher prices is the trade war.

Recently, President Donald Trump said the U.S. would impose tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods. China has said they would not purchase agricultural products from the U.S. in retaliation.

"It’s going to be unpleasant and yes we’ve seen it in markets and we’re taking a hit on the products we sell but I think that’s what’s going to have to happen before we can get to the end of it," said Wendland.

ALFA National Affairs Director Mitt Walker said the Trump administration is calling out China after the country did not always abide by prior trade agreements. Walker says the trade war did not happen overnight and believes there will not be a solution overnight.

“The majority of our farmers are still sticking with the president and supporting his effort to hopefully go through some short term pain for some long term gain," Walker said.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Rick Pate said in a statement “until a trade resolution is reached between the U.S. and China, the financial stability of farmers throughout the country will be unpredictable.”

Pate said the USDA has several programs aimed at helping relieve some farmers from the financial hits.

One of these programs is the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), designed for farmers whose commodities have been directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets. The sign-up for the program began on Monday, July 29, and ends on Dec. 6, 2019.

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