Nebraska Farm Bureau: Trade Conflicts Cost Farmers $1B

December 17, 2018

A Nebraska Farm Bureau report says trade conflicts have cost Nebraska farmers up to $1 billion in farm income this year.

The report released on Dec. 3 says additional costs include between $164 million and $242 million in lost labor income.

The report didn’t mention President Donald Trump, who imposed steep U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year. However, among other recommendations, the report urges the lifting of tariffs on steel and aluminum in order to eliminate the retaliatory measures imposed by other countries as a result of those tariffs.

The economic analysis prepared for the Farm Bureau specifically examined the impact on corn, soybeans and hogs, the products most affected by the retaliatory tariffs.

Jay Rempe is a Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist and co-author of the new report, and he says the total loss to the broader Nebraska economy was estimated as high as $1.2 billion.

The analysis didn’t account for federal Market Facilitation Payments aimed at offsetting the loss of farm revenue because of trade disruptions.

In its report, the Nebraska Farm Bureau also urged finalization of the U.S., Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA), a Trump administration negotiated pact intended as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).