Abigail Spanberger Calls on Congress & Trump to Protect Farmers

by Brandon Jarvis

Due to the harmful results of the trade war, farmers across the country have seen profits dwindle. The Market Facilitation Program is supposed to be a $14.5 billion dollar investment from the government to offset those losses.

The website to sign up for relief states that it is for the farmers that have been, “directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs”. The website also says that the estimated $14.5 billion is “in line with the estimated impacts of the retaliatory tariffs on – and non-tariff barriers to exports of – U.S. agricultural goods.”

Reports came out today that negotiations for the upcoming continuing resolution would exclude the funding for this program. Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) addressed these reports with a statement Monday evening.

In Central Virginia, farmers, agribusinesses, and our rural communities have borne tremendous financial strain due to the administration’s ongoing trade wars. As I travelled across our district during my Farm Tour last month, I repeatedly heard about the damaging long-term effects of these ill-advised trade actions. During this moment of great economic uncertainty in the rural economy, we need to stand with our farmers and their families—not withhold much-needed payments in an effort to settle political scores,” said Spanberger. 

Consisting of a large swath of rural-farmland, the 7th stretches along the western half of central Virginia with farmland across the mostly rural district. These are the areas of the district that voted for Spanberger’s opponent when she ousted the Republican incumbent in 2018. However, Spanberger has stated from the beginning that she was planning to represent all of the constituents, not just the ones that voted for her.

The upcoming CR should include the funding provision requested by USDA, so that MFP and Farm Bill payments can be distributed to Central Virginia growers as planned. Without these payments, we’d risk digging a deeper hole within the farm economy, and we’d turn a blind eye to the day-to-day challenges facing American farmers due to destructive and disjointed trade policies. As I continue to speak out against tariffs that harm our district’s producers, I’ll also keep fighting for Central Virginia farmers and the assistance they’ve requested and been promised.