IFB members respond to trade action request

The effort helped the U.S. Trade Representative and other officials in Washington more clearly see the importance of trade, says IFB president.

4-12-18_Rich Guebert Radio

During an interview with the RFD Radio Network on Thursday, Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert, Jr. thanked the 1,500-plus IFB members who responded to the recent action request on trade. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

By DeLoss Jahnke

Tariff and trade concerns with China sparked last week an Illinois Farm Bureau action request.  Members made more than 6,000 contacts to Washington, pushing for a deal before proposed tariffs take effect and do long-term economic damage. IFB president Rich Guebert thanked the membership for the strong and swift response.

“It’s the strongest action request that we’ve had for quite some time. Quite a tremendous response, and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to call their legislators on this very important pocketbook issue,” said President Guebert.

Collaborating with American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, Guebert says the message has been heard in DC, including with US Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

“He had an opportunity to sit down with Zippy Duvall and other national farm leaders and Secretary Perdue, where they could express their views and answer any questions that Mr. Lighthizer might have. Mr. Lighthizer has a more clear picture today (of the issue) than he did two weeks ago. It’s always a tribute to our members and farmer leaders that have stepped up to the plate and told agriculture’s story,” President Guebert continued.

Guebert says as spring fieldwork is about to commence, and as farmers pay for inputs like seed, fertilizer and fuel, not to mention taxes, economic uncertainty through trading partners is coming at the worst possible time.

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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