Below is an open letter to Congressman John Katko concerning Trump's trade war and the approaching planting season:
Representative John Katko,
It has been over a year now since President Trump initiated his trade war against China. Grain farmers and milk farmers here in your district have experienced and continue to experience the extreme adverse effects on our markets due directly to his actions.
In just a few weeks, we farmers will have to make some hard decisions about what to plant this year. We only get one chance each year and there’s no going back, no chance to reconsider once the seed is in the ground. Not just in New York but all over this country, in just a few weeks the better part of 200 million acres of crops will be planted. Billions of dollars of seed and fertilizer will be invested in those acres. Hundreds of millions of dollars of living expenses depend on the outcome of this investment. Millions of dollars of school and property taxes used to support rural communities depends on the outcome of this investment. Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be invested just in Cayuga County alone.
Now Trump has had over year to sort out his disagreements with China. Just today, I’ve read several articles about trade representative Lighthizer’s testimony before the Senate concerning progress towards an agreement. Quite frankly, he wasn’t able to offer senators much definitive information or encouragement despite months of negotiations. As far as farmers are concerned, the Trump administration is running out of time.
I would very much appreciate if you would communicate to President Trump and members of his administration that one way or another, they need to bring this situation to a conclusion in the next couple of weeks. It’s gone on long enough. We need to be able to make some decisions and get on with our work. We need some certainty about this issue so that we can make the best decision we can. We deserve at least that much.