The Michigan Agri-Business Association Thursday called on U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to help reverse newly-announced tariffs on Canadian aluminum, which threaten to undermine trade with Michigan’s leading export destination. The Secretary is scheduled to host meetings on Friday, August 21 in West Olive and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“The success of our Michigan agriculture sector hinges on opportunities to export, and we are concerned new tariffs against Canada will result in escalation and disrupt agricultural export opportunities,” said Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “We appreciate Secretary Perdue for visiting our state and for being a strong voice in support of open trade. We urge the Secretary to take a clear message back to Washington: Michigan farmers and agribusinesses need to export. We need predictability in the marketplace. A trade policy rooted in surprises undermines opportunity for our Michigan agriculture sector.”
Michigan farmers and agribusinesses export close to $1 billion worth of food and agricultural products to Canada every year – a leading share of the state’s nearly $3 billion total food and ag export portfolio. The industry widely supported the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which was negotiated by the Trump administration and approved by Congress on an overwhelming bipartisan basis before going into effect in July.
On August 6, the administration announced the reinstatement of a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum, which drew a near-immediate response from the Government of Canada.
“Michigan agriculture can’t afford new trade wars,” said Lippstreu. “We urge Secretary Perdue to do all he can to prevent new tariffs against reliable customers of U.S. products, including the recent aluminum tariffs announced against our trading partners in Canada.”