VP Mike Pence Pressures Democrats to Pass USMCA at Glyndon Farm
GLYNDON, Minn. — Vice President Mike Pence spoke with dozens of farmers at R & J Johnson Farms in rural Glyndon to hear their concerns.
Those farmers have been entrenched in a trade war for months.
“Rural America is bleeding right now as far as agriculture, we need some good news, we need something to stop that,” Shayne Isane with the Minnesota Farm Bureau, said.
Farmers say they want to see two things done: one is the passing of the USMCA, and the other is for trade negotiations with China to be completed.
Vice President Pence says he wants the same.
“If Speaker Pelosi puts the USMCA on the floor of the Congress, it’ll pass. It’ll pass in the Senate and we’ll create real opportunities for certainty in our trading relationship in North America,” he said.
Farmers say that the plan would treat them better than NAFTA. For Isane, it would more accurately classify some of his commodities.
“Any spring wheat that got exported Canada was treated as a feed wheat. Well, our wheat is the highest quality wheat in the world,” he said.
“We drove for a deal that would really level the playing field not just for manufacturing but also for agriculture,” Pence said.
For young people in the industry, some say the political landscape is something to learn from.
“I think ultimately one of the things we always have to remember is keep an open and positive mind and it’s really essential for us especially in agriculture as a whole,” Eleora Demuth, a former state officer for the Minnesota FFA, said.
Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, the House Agriculture Committee Chairman, wasn’t at the farm.
The Democrat says in a statement he understands the importance of getting a trade deal in place.
Pence says additional tariffs are not out of the question if an agreement can’t be reached with China. Chinese officials are in Washington for trade negotiations.
“If we have to go the tariffs route, to expand tariffs to reset the balance in our relationship, you can be very confident President Trump and I and our entire administration are going to look for ways to provide additional support to American farmers,” he said.
The Vice President also says discussions are going on in the White House for more support for farmers.
Producers say the bottom line is they want to move forward.
“We’ve had a lot of patience, but our patience is running out. We are hurting. We need something done,” Isane said.