FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 17, 2020
Pompeo Tries to Do Damage Control for Trump’s Disastrous Impact on Farmers during Iowa Trip
Secretary of State Pompeo’s Farm Bureau round table is a shameless attempt to divert from Trump’s repeated attacks on Iowa farmers
DES MOINES — Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Iowa to paint over Trump’s broken promises and chaotic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic that puts the future of Iowa’s largest economy at risk. The empty publicity stunt from the Secretary of State — not Agriculture — is this administration’s latest attempt to dodge farmers and deny responsibility for the damage they’ve done.
“Secretary of State Pompeo’s shameful attempt to do damage control with Iowa farmers isn’t fooling anyone,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Mark Smith. “Trump’s unnecessary Trade War, Big Oil handouts at the expense of Iowa energy producers, and disastrous response to the global pandemic have crippled the farm safety net. Right now Iowa farmers need answers from the administration, not another political stunt.”
Nationally, farm bankruptcies are up nearly 20% — the highest since the Great Recession.
Farm Bureau: “Given that there are slightly more than 2 million farms in the U.S., the 2019 bankruptcy data reveals a bankruptcy rate of approximately 2.95 bankruptcies per 10,000 farms, slightly below the rate of 2.99 filings per 10,000 farms in 2011.”
Iowa farmers are bearing the brunt of Trump’s reckless and ongoing Trade War.
Iowa Soybean Association president and farmer Tim Bardole: “At this point, it hasn’t done near what we were hoping would happen with it. At this point, we’re kind of running out of time for it to get close to the numbers we might have hoped.”
Farmers are caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s mishandling of the global pandemic.
Des Moines Register: “Iowa’s coronavirus-related agriculture losses projected to be ‘truly awful’”
Iowa State University agricultural economist: “We’ve put a small Band-Aid on a very large wound that’s still bleeding.”
Politico: “Government payments to farmers have surged to historic levels under President Donald Trump as the Agriculture Department floods the industry with cash to stem the financial losses from Trump’s tariff fights and the coronavirus pandemic.”
Trump turned his back on Iowa farmers and renewable fuels producers to give handouts to Big Oil companies.
Reuters: “Over the past two years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted more than 30 waivers to refineries, including facilities owned by Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp, stoking the ire of farmers and spurring numerous meetings in which the White House has tried to placate growers’ anger.
Reuters: “In addition, farmers bore the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs on soybeans and other products imposed by China during an 18-month trade war with the United States. As the world’s second-largest economy stopped buying U.S. agricultural goods, American farmers had to adapt to a smaller export market.”