Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried calls Trump 'a disaster for American farmers'

by

comment
PHOTO VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Photo via Adobe Stock
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday renewed attacks on President Donald Trump’s trade policies, citing new reports that China has halted imports of U.S. agricultural goods.

“This president is a disaster for American farmers. His tariffs have made our crops less competitive, his trade war has slashed our farmers’ exports, and his new trade agreement does nothing to protect Florida agriculture from Mexico’s illegally subsidized imports,” Fried, the state’s top elected Democrat, said in a statement, referring in part to a proposed agreement with Mexico and Canada.



Fried’s criticism came after Bloomberg News reported the Chinese government has asked state-owned enterprises to suspend purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Citing people familiar with the situation in China, Bloomberg reported China’s state-run agricultural firms have halted purchases of American farm goods and are waiting to see how talks between the two nations progress.



Prior to the Bloomberg report, Fried had blamed China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariffs for cutting Florida timber exports to China by 64 percent, lobster exports to China by 34 percent and crab exports to China by 79 percent.

Florida’s timber industry was also ravaged in October by Hurricane Michael. Fried has said that Russia and Brazil are among the nations that have stepped in to replace the state’s timber sales.

While attending a Jubilee Orchards event in Lake City last week, Fried also warned that the president’s trade deal with Canada and Mexico, which has been branded as the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” could cause $389 million in losses to Florida agriculture. “If the president wants to put America first, then he needs to stop antagonizing our nation’s biggest trade partner and start helping our farmers compete in the global marketplace,” Fried said.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.