The proposed 2018 farm bill is unlikely to provide producer relief from tariff retaliation from China or others—the money’s just not there.
House Ag Chair Mike Conaway says he’s working with a ‘bare-bones’ budget to write a farm bill, and argues there’s already money available in an earlier-passed bill.
“Those near-term emergency protections were revitalized with a supplemental under subsection 32 for Sonny Perdue to use. So, the Secretary of Ag will be able to be more nimble with respect to that, and that’s already in place.”
There’s also the recently-passed omnibus budget bill that eased restrictions on the Secretary’s Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing authority, though the existing $30 billion ceiling would be reduced by other commodity spending.
Chairman Conaway says the farm bill extends current programs to promote ag sales abroad.
“The market access program and the foreign market development program are really important programs to help sell American products around the world. The French spend more on peddling French wine than we spend on our entire program.”
National Corn Growers wants a farm bill solution to any tariff retaliation. The American Soybean Association and American Farm Bureau are waiting to see what the administration offers, while hoping trade tensions with China ease.