Congressman Cleaver Urges More Support for Missouri Farmers and Greater Trade Certainty in Letter to USDA Secretary

Sep 11, 2018
Press Release
Aid is not enough to cover losses from trade wars and drought

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II sent a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue of the United States Department of Agriculture, addressing farmers’ concerns about financial assistance. The administration has proposed a $12 billion aid package to help farmers negatively affected by retaliatory tariffs.

The bulk of the assistance package will come from the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This program will provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean and wheat producers.

Some farmers say the $12 billion in aid does not sufficiently make up for the disparaging gap between what farmers have lost because of tariffs and this year’s drought.

“The payments will provide some relief from the current trade disruption, but not enough to make most of the farmers in my Fifth Congressional District whole,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Farmers in this country are not responsible for this trade war and are telling me that they prefer trade, not aid. My desire is to simply allow Missouri’s farmers to receive benefits from this program in an equitable way and to encourage the Administration to resolve the current trade disputes,” Cleaver stated in the letter.

Farmers are expected to receive payments on 50 percent of this year’s yield, multiplied by a specific rate for each commodity during the first round of payments. But some farmers argue that this year’s yield is not an accurate measure because of the devastating effects of this year’s drought. Congressman Cleaver asks Sec. Perdue to consider using a multi-year configuration of yields to determine the amount of aid provided and to end the ongoing trade wars.

The letter to Sec. Perdue can be found here.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available at here.