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McConnell On Tariffs: “A Tough Couple Of Years” For Soybean Farmers

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  West Kentucky soybean farmers continue to hurt financially from ongoing trade negotiations and tariffs between the Trump administration and China, and other countries. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he recognizes it’s been “a tough couple of years” for soybean producers.

 

McConnell said to media after a Paducah Chamber of Commerce lunch on Tuesday that the new $16 billion in federal aid to farmers to alleviate trade losses from Chinese retaliatory tariffs is only a partial solution.

 

“What I think what the [Trump] administration is going to do in the short-term is provide payment through the [Commodity Credit Corporation]. It will not nearly make up for what a robust economy and robust sales would produce,” McConnell said.

 

He said he supports Trump in negotiating a better trade deal with China. But he thinks the president could have worked more with other trade partners in doing so instead of escalating trade tensions.

 

“I’m less enthusiastic about picking fights with the Europeans, the Mexicans and the Canadians. I think the President would have been wiser to sign up with all of our closer allies. All of them have the same grievances with China as we do,” McConnell said.

 

McConnell said he doesn’t agree with Trump on everything. But he points to initiatives such as revamping the tax code and appointing new Supreme Court Justices as work he’s accomplished with Trump.

 

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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