July 27, 2018

Wyden, Merkley, Brown Again Seek Federal Wildfire Aid for Oregon Farmers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Gov. Kate Brown today asked federal officials to make some of the $12 billion promised American farmers in trade war relief also available to Oregon farmers devastated by recent wildfires.

The letter from Wyden, Merkley and Brown to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue notes their request follows one they made last week asking Perdue to provide emergency assistance for Oregon farmers whose crops have been decimated by this summer’s wildland fires.

“This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would provide up to $12 billion in aid to farmers affected by the President’s ongoing trade war, which is limiting market access for farmers across the country,” the Oregon officials wrote Perdue. “We write today requesting that a portion of these funds be used to assist Oregon farmers whose crops have been destroyed by these fires. “

“The goal of U.S. trade policy ought to be one of leveling the playing field for American farmers,” wrote Wyden, Merkley and Brown. “But instead, the president is taking a bad situation -- increasing instances of crop loss due to natural disasters -- and making it worse with a trade war he started without any apparent strategy or consideration of the consequences … regardless of the president’s trade strategy, USDA must act to assist American farmers enduring disaster now.”

The full letter can be found here.