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Sen. Doug Jones introduces legislation to aid farmers hurt by tariffs

Jessa Reid Bolling

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U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, introduced new legislation to offer financial and technical support to farmers and producers impacted by President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China.

The Assistance for Farmers Harmed by Tariffs on Exports Act would offer Trade Adjustment Assistance to farmers and producers hurt by tariffs implemented by China.

“I agree with the president 100 percent that we need fair trade deals, and we have to make sure that American workers and consumers are not being taken for a ride by other countries – especially rogue countries and bad actors like China,” Jones said. “But since this trade war began last year, these tariffs are having the complete opposite effect on the people that they are supposed to help. That’s because tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. From businesses to farmers to consumers, these taxes are being paid for by Americans. That’s not politics. That is economics.”

TAA was created in 1962 to provide 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 losses 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,” Jones said. “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.”

Jones said he agreed with the president that China should face consequences for trade policies that take advantage of the United States, such as steel pricing and intellectual property theft, but that the trade war has 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,” Jones said.

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Jessa Reid Bolling is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter and graduate of The University of Alabama with a B.A. in journalism and political science. You can email her at [email protected] or reach her via Twitter.

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