Senator Tina Smith presses Trump Administration for farmer help

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Farmers are harvesting but a senator worries they do not have anywhere to sell their crops. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) says the Trump administration needs to step in.

“I like to have an open, an open conversation and try to see where we can find common ground,” said Smith.

Smith recently planted a letter on the president’s desk, urging for swift action to help farmers on a number of issues. The president granted one of her wishes Tuesday, approving the year-round use of fuel blend consisting of 15 percent corn-based ethanol.

But the rest of her wish list is more politically contentious. She wants the president to press Republicans into a bipartisan Farm Bill, and assist farmers to store grain and ride out low prices.

And as farmers gear up to sell, she wants a ceasefire in the ongoing trade battle with China. She says the tariff back-and-forth is causing lasting damage to soybean farmers’ decades-long relationships.

“Like the guy on the operating table and I need the surgery and it doesn’t help me when I’m told I need to wait a few years for the cure. I need help right now,” said Smith.

The administration says it will not budge on China. The president’s trade guru says China is cheating the U.S. and we cannot show weakness.

“We can’t let our knees buckle through their bullying. And we have farmers backs and we need to be strong on this,” said Peter Navarro.

Navarro says the recently renegotiated North American trade agreement shows the president’s tactics work. He says if farmers stand by this president, they will see his deal making yield positive results with China as well.

“China’s been doing this to us ever since they joined the World Trade organization. We have to stand up to their bullying. We have to stand up to their unfair trade practices,” said Navarro.

Senator Smith says she hopes for a formal reply from the administration addressing her concerns.