Trump Tarriffs Outrage Farmers In Midwest and South

Trump Tarriffs Outrage Farmers In Midwest and South

October 2, 2019

Farmers From Iowa, to Alabama, to Wisconsin, Outraged Over Trump Trade War Continue to Make Headlines 


After talking with Alabama farmers, Tommy Tuberville, a prominent GOP Senate candidate in that state yesterday offered this assessment of how President Trump’s tariffs have impacted farmers:
"You know, there’s no bigger supporter of President Trump, even though he’s putting a noose around their neck a little bit in terms of choking them out and keeping that price down," Tuberville said on The Matt Murphy radio show on Alabama station 99.5. "And they’re not making the money. And I just hope that we get this thing over with because they’re great people." (The Hill)
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell frankly discussed how farmers are being hurt:
"It's been very tough on American agriculture … I hope we can get a conclusion to this sometime soon because rural America really needs it." (Business Insider)

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters following an appearance at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin yesterday that dairy farmers will continue to struggle. Dairy farmers face numerous problems, including the trade war.

"In America, the big get bigger and the small go out,” Perdue said. "I don't think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability." Perdue's visit comes as Wisconsin dairy farmers are wrestling with a host of problems, including declining milk prices, rising suicide rates, the transition to larger farms with hundreds or thousands of animals and Trump's international trade wars.  (Associated Press

These politicians are hearing the calls of real American farmers who are increasingly speaking out about their discontent with the administration’s tariffs. Recent examples include:
IN IOWA: Jolene Riessen, who grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa in Ida and Sac counties in Iowa:
“Something needed to be done with China. It always felt like we were being taken advantage of,” said. “But President Trump always talks about ‘The Art of The Deal.’ Well, it’s time to make the close. It’s time to get something done.” (Washington Post 10.2)
IN IOWA: Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Corn and soybean farmer in Primghar, IA:
“I supported Trump in the last election. Today, if the election were held, I don’t think I could vote for him,” said Kelly Nieuwenhuis, 60, a corn and soybean farmer in Primghar, about 40 miles east. “It’s definitely growing, the displeasure with the Trump administration.” (Washington Post 10.2)
More here - Farm-state fury creates pressure for Trump as trade, energy pain collide. Washington Post 10.2
IN PENNSYLVANIA: Rick Telesz, a soybean farmer in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania – WATCH -  Farmer who voted for Trump: I'm angry at him (CNN) Three experienced farmers in Pennsylvania voted for Trump in 2016, but as the trade war continues to cut their profits, the Telesz family says they can't afford to vote for President Trump again.
“Farmers are encouraging Trump to "find some end to this trade war and do it sooner than later,’ Farm Bureau President Duvall told the FOX Business Network’s ‘Cavuto: Coast to Coast’ during the Farm Progress Show. ‘If you’re on the edge financially, this is a very difficult time and you got to have it done today,’ Duvall said. ‘If there’s more mitigation payments coming down the road to them, they might stretch it out a little bit.’ “
“American farmers have become collateral damage in a trade war that Mr. Trump began to help manufacturers and other companies that he believes have been hurt by China’s ‘unfair’ trade practices. More than a year into the trade dispute, sales of American soybeans, pork, wheat and other agricultural products to China have dried up as Beijing retaliates against Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports.”
“Amid increasing tariffs and controversial biofuels policies, farmer support for President Donald Trump is waning. That’s according to a Farm Journal Pulse poll conducted this week.”
Dried up exports bring Minnesota farmers to breaking point (Minneapolis Star-Tribune Op-Ed -Tim Dufault, MN wheat and soy farmer) 9.4.19
“We are now over a year into the trade war. And while for most Americans the fallout is spread out and sometimes barely registered, the opposite is true for much of rural America. Exports are the lifeblood of American agriculture. When those exports slow or even stop, as they have over the past year, the ripple effects spread from the farm, to rural Main Streets, to entire regions of the country….Here in Minnesota we have reached the breaking point. If the President fails to listen to farmers now we should break with him.”
“Farmers’ discontent over President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China erupted into the open Wednesday as his agriculture secretary was confronted at a fair in rural Minnesota. Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, drew applause as he leveled criticism of the administration’s trade policy at a forum with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in front of thousands of farmers gathered in a metal barn for a panel discussion.”
“China’s exit piles on to a devastating year for farmers, who have struggled through record flooding and an extreme heat wave that destroyed crop yields, and trade war escalations that have lowered prices and profits this year. ‘It’s really, really getting bad out here,’ said Bob Kuylen, who’s farmed for 35 years in North Dakota. ‘Trump is ruining our markets. No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more.’ “
“Well, it turns out Trump has no magic, and farmers know exactly what the president is doing to them. MSNBC on Monday interviewed Bob Kuylen, vice president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, who explained that his wheat farm, which depends on overseas markets, has lost $400,000 because of the administration’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and subsequent trade wars.”
“In just 16 months Trump’s trade policies have caused long-term damage to the U.S. farm economy. In March 2018 my soybeans were selling for a local cash price of $10.50 per bushel. Now, the same soybeans are selling below the cost of production at $8.50. The president’s trade war lost my biggest and best soybean customer — China. President Trump said that ‘trade wars are easy to win.’ The hard truth is there is no win for agriculture just around the corner regardless of how many multibillion-dollar taxpayer bailouts are raided from the Treasury. Mr. President, I beg you to quit losing.’“
“Thom Peterson, Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture says, ‘I think there is a lot of fatigue out there in trade that I can see it here in the faces of farmers when they looked at today again another announcement from China on soybeans, it's just like oh it's exhausting.’ Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau president adds, ‘We want to make sure that he is tough on trade, but he needs to understand that this is having an effect on our bottom line. We've seen our prices down 25% in many cases and we cannot survive where we are.’
“Agriculture is in one hell of a bad situation right now. The government put us in this situation, and they need to help us get out of it,’ Vic Miller, a corn farmer from Fayette County, said in a statement.”
“Republican senators have been warning for months that farmers can’t take much more of this. Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) told Politico in May: ‘They can feel it. The farm community up ‘til now has really supported the president without flinching. But eventually you flinch.’
Now, farmers’ concerns are no longer a murmur. The National Farmers Union issued a statement about Trump’s trade war that sounded as if it could be coming from his political opponents.”