Restore Public Trust Calls Out Perdue in the Wake of Political Retaliation

Economists flee Ag Dept. After Reports Revealed Admin Policies “Financially Harmed” Farms

Following Politico’s reporting about economists fleeing the Department of Agriculture amid claims of retaliation, Lizzy Price of Restore Public Trust made the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s disastrous trade and tax policies have decimated farms across the country and now they are trying to cover their tracks. It’s alarming that Secretary Perdue has allowed revenge on his own department’s economists. Make no mistake – Perdue is helping hide serious economic realities that aren’t politically convenient for him or his boss.”

Politico: Economists flee Agriculture Dept. after feeling punished under Trump, Reports showing farmers hurt by the president’s policies have drawn the ire of top officials.

  • Six Economists Quit ERS In A Single Day In April Due To Retaliation Against The Agency From The Trump Administration. “Economists in the Agriculture Department’s research branch say the Trump administration is retaliating against them for publishing reports that shed negative light on White House policies, spurring an exodus that included six of them quitting the department on a single day in late April.” [Politico, 5/7/19]
  • ERS Found Farmers Had Been Financially Harmed By Trump’s Trade Feuds And The Republican Tax Bill. “The Economic Research Service — a source of closely read reports on farm income and other topics that can shape federal policy, planting decisions and commodity markets — has run afoul of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with its findings on how farmers have been financially harmed by President Donald Trump’s trade feuds, the Republican tax code rewrite and other sensitive issues, according to current and former agency employees.” [Politico, 5/7/19]
  • Some ERS Economists Said The Relocation Was A Punishment For The Agency’s Findings That Didn’t Align With Republican Positions. “Some current and former ERS economists told POLITICO they view the relocation as a form of punishment for the agency’s findings that don’t always align with Republican arguments on issues from taxes and trade to farm subsidies, food stamps and the environment. ‘Some of the topics we were doing research on, the administration didn’t appreciate some of our findings, so this is retaliation to harm the agency and send a message,’ said one ERS employee who asked not to be named to avoid retribution.” [Politico, 5/6/19]

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