Presidents from 10 Midwest states' farm bureaus have sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, urging the government to end its trade disputes with China, according to a news release by Nebraska Farm Bureau on Wednesday.
In the letter, the presidents said they collectively represented over 1.3 million member families, and they understood that international market was critical to their economic survival.
Noting that agricultural trade between China and the 10 states amounted to 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, the letter said that these farm states "are worried about the potential consequences of a trade war with China."
In response to U.S. trade offensives against China earlier this year, China announced a list of U.S. imports that could face hefty tariffs should Washington proceed with its unilateral trade moves against China.
Agricultural products such as soybeans, fruits, and nuts are among the items targeted by China.
The letter also directly addressed the proposed plan by U.S. government to provide monetary compensation to farmers and ranchers who may be hurt by retaliatory tariffs, saying "our farm and ranch families prefer access to markets, not checks from the federal government in lieu of trade opportunities."
The letter was signed by state farm bureau presidents from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.