Rural America hasn't felt the "Great American Comeback" touted by Trump

Citing stock market gains, recent trade deals, and low unemployment rates, US President Donald J. Trump tonight touted a “great American comeback” in his third State of the Union address.
calendar icon 7 February 2020
clock icon 3 minute read

In response to the President’s address, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s rosy outlook for the American economy is not just inaccurate – it’s insensitive to the millions of rural Americans who are struggling every day just to scrape by. Farm debt crept up to $416 billion in 2019, the highest it’s been since the 1980s farm crisis. Despite trade assistance payments, many farmers haven’t been able to withstand the financial pressures: nearly 600 farmers filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy last year – a shocking 20 percent spike – while thousands more decided to leave the business entirely.

“And while newly established trade deals are a bright spot for American agriculture, any tangible benefits for family farmers and rural communities are likely a long way off. This administration’s trade wars have caused real, lasting damage, both to agricultural export markets and to our reputation as a trading partner, and it will take time for both to recover. In fact, crop prices have dropped since USMCA and the phase one deal with China were signed, a strong indication that any improvements will be gradual, if at all.

“By ignoring these problems, President Trump isn’t making them go away ¬– instead, he should work to include rural America in his great comeback by rebuilding our reputation as a reliable trading partner, establishing fair and stable agricultural markets, and addressing the root causes of our current farm crisis.”

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