Delaney: Nation Cannot Ignore Farm Struggles in Midwest

Thursday, February 21, 2019
CONTACT: Ahmed Elsayed, 301-500-8642,

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – According to analysis of federal data from The Wall Street Journal, bankruptcy filings are skyrocketing across the Midwest, even surpassing levels seen during the Great Recession of 2008 in many states. The Journal reports, “bankruptcies in three regions covering major farm states last year rose to the highest level in at least 10 years.”

This is in line with data from the USDA that projects record levels of farm sector debt this year.

John Delaney releases the following statement:

“While our national economic discussion has been dominated by where Amazon will put its third HQ, Trump’s tweets, and which Democrat wants to raise taxes the highest, farmers across the Midwest have been going bankrupt. I’m not going to ignore rural America. We need to ensure we have economic opportunities for all areas: urban, suburban, and rural. A fair deal for rural America is going to be a priority for my campaign. 

“In some regions, bankruptcies are up over 90% – this is becoming a major economic crisis for rural America. So many rural communities have never fully recovered from past recessions – if we see a Farm Crisis 2.0 it could be truly devastating. 

“That’s why there’s been so much concern over the negative impacts caused by the new tariff fight the White House started. When I talked to people in rural Iowa, including die-hard Republicans, they’re really worried. They need solutions, not rhetoric.

“I have consistently opposed the administration’s tariffs, which only serve to hurt American farmers and curtail job growth.  The truth is that we’re not going to succeed in the global economy by enacting protectionist policies.  We need to focus on the future, not try to recreate the past. 

“The defining economic story of the last decade has been the extreme concentration of economic development and growth in a small number of places. I think what’s happening in the tech hubs is great – but we are a stronger country when we have growth everywhere. The American Dream should not exist only for those lucky enough to be born in the right zip codes.  

“That’s why I have a plan to get public and private sector investment flowing to places that have been left behind by the global economy. That starts with removing the administration’s ill-conceived tariffs so that we can give our farmers more international markets, not fewer. 

“We also need to make direct investments in communities that have been left behind by globalization and technological change, and provide the necessary resources to prepare for the future of work.”