The chairman of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee says trade negotiations need to come to an end soon.
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) held a roundtable discussion in Nebraska on the next Farm Bill.
He says farmers need a stable trade policy from the administration.
“If the Administration makes a statement, more specifically, the president, it may not be final. It may be going through the inspection period, but it’s terribly market-sensitive,” Roberts tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KHAS in Hastings.
He points to sorghum producers who were hit by a tariff China levied in reaction to higher tariffs imposed byt the U.S. on steel and aluminum.
“One day they had the price above the cost of production, the next day, 80 cents on the dollar,” Roberts explains. “Boom! That’s not right! That’s using producers as a pawn, really, to get where you want to get.”
While his roundtable with Nebraska producers in Grand Island focused on the Farm Bill, many had the continuing trade dispute on their mind.
“We need to avoid a trade war at all cost. We need to sell our product, and to do that, hopefully, we see a little change of heart with the [Trump] Administration,” Roberts says. “I know they’re working very hard.”
He says producers tell him they are very worried about the lack of a trade policy, and what has happened already during the dispute.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:41]