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Minnesota Farm Bureau President Testifies on Tariffs, Trade

Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Trade Subcommittee on July 18, 2018

WASHINGTONMinnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Paap testified today before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Trade to discuss the impact of the Administration’s tariff policies on Minnesota’s agricultural community.  Paap’s testimony was arranged by Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03), who has frequently spoken out to voice his concern about the imposition of tariffs on goods exported across the world.

“Minnesota Farm Bureau strongly believes that with the current financial stress farmers and ranchers are facing, we need to maintain and expand market opportunities,” Paap said in his testimony to the subcommittee. “The current tariffs, continuing back-and-forth retaliatory actions and trade uncertainties are hitting American agriculture from all sides and are causing us to lose our markets. Once you lose a market, it is really tough to get it back.”

“In trade wars, agriculture has been and continues to be the tip of the spear,” Paap told lawmakers. “It is critical that we limit trade disruptions and resolve trade disputes through negotiations, not tariffs or withdrawals from other trade agreement discussions.”

“Minnesota’s farmers are the best in the country, but misguided trade policy in Washington is putting them at risk,”said Congressman Paulsen. “Minnesota exported $7.1 billion in agricultural products in 2016 alone – the fourth highest of any state. Our farms have warned tariffs and retaliatory measures will price our products out of markets all over the world. It’s important that this story is told.”

Paap is just the latest Minnesotan that has testified to Congress in Congressman Paulsen’s invitation. Recent witnesses have included small business owners, medical innovators and employers benefiting from tax reform.

Paulsen’s questioning of Paap is below.

Rep. Erik Paulsen w/ Paap and his wife Julie prior to the hearing