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May 14, 2019

Senator Doug Jones Introduces Legislation to Help Farmers Hurt by Trade War

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Doug Jones introduced legislation today that would offer financial and technical support to help farmers and producers recover losses caused by the President’s ongoing trade war with China. The Assistance for Farmers Harmed by Tariffs on Exports Act  will offer Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) to those hurt by China’s retaliatory tariffs.  

TAA was created in 1962 to provide direct financial and technical assistance to workers impacted by changes in global trade. In 2002, the TAA program was expanded to include assistance to growers, producers, and fishermen if they experienced hardship as a result of changing commodity markets from increased imports. Unfortunately, the current TAA program provides no help to farmers whose exports are hurt by changing policies and retaliatory tariffs triggered by our own government’s actions.

“These tariffs are taxes and they’re hurting our farmers especially,” said Senator Jones. “Not only are they trying to get back on their feet after natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, but they are facing a double-whammy from the President’s trade war with China. I agree we need to punish bad actors like China that take advantage of the United States, particularly when it comes to issues like steel pricing and intellectual property theft, but this trade war has so far only hurt hard-working Americans. I’m hopeful that my legislation will help lessen the pain these tariffs have caused our farmers, while at the same time I’ll continue to urge an end to this pointless trade war.”

Senator Jones has been a vocal advocate on behalf of the American farmers, workers, and consumers who have been hurt by the new taxes resulting from the President’s trade war. He has taken a number of actions over the past year to mitigate the negative effects of imposed and threatened tariffs, including:

  • Introducing bipartisan legislation to help family farms reorganize after falling on hard times as bankruptcy rates among American farmers near record highs;
  • Partnering with Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to urge the President to announce the second round of agricultural tariffs trade assistance;
  • Leading a bipartisan effort to get answers from the Commerce Department about whether imports of autos and auto parts threaten national security;
  • Introducing a bipartisan bill to reform and strengthen the national security tariff process in response to threatened national security tariffs on autos and auto parts; and,
  • Leading a letter with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to the Commerce Department to urge the administration to reconsider its threatened 25-percent auto tariffs.

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