American farmers slam Trump for 'turning his back' on them


Trump's disastrous trade war with China is hurting commodity prices and letting farmers know how little Trump cares about them.

As crop prices fall and debts increase, farmers are sick and tired of Trump's calamitous trade war with China.

Trump is "turning his back on America's farmers when we need him the most," John Wesley Boyd Jr., a soybean farmer from Virginia, told CNN on Monday.

Commodity prices dropped again on Monday as China announced $60 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. good and products in response to Trump's decision to ramp up tariffs on China. China is one of America's largest trading partners, and was once the top purchaser of American soybeans.

In December, the Congressional Research Service determined that Trump's trade war resulted in national net farm income dropping by more than $9 billion in 2018.

Support for Trump among farmers is beginning to fracture. Evan Hultine, a corn and soybean farmer in Illinois supported Trump, but is now unsure. If he could talk to Trump, he would say that he supported him in the beginning but with the trade war, "every day that this ticks on, farmers are the ones that are taking it on the jaw."

Farmers know exactly who is to blame: Trump.

"We spent 40 years developing this trade relationship with China and in one fell swoop, it was all taken away," Bret Davis, a fourth-generation soybean farmer, told Axios.

"Farmers have been patient and willing to let negotiations play out, but with each passing day, patience is wearing thin," Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said in a statement.

Trump's trade war threatens more than just short-term hardship for farmers. His actions could threaten the livelihood of farmers for a generation, according to the American Soybean Association (ASA).

"If we don't get this trade deal sorted out and the tariffs rescinded soon, those of us who worked to build this market likely won't see it recover in our lifetime," Davie Stephens, president of the ASA, said in a statement.

Farmers across the country are already filing for bankruptcy at rates the country has not seen in more than a decade. Even South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, has said Trump's actions have "devastated" her state.

And even Americans who are not farmers are paying a price for Trump's ill-advised actions. Household products like washing machines have increased in cost by almost $100, thanks to Trump's actions. In total, experts estimate all of Trump's tariffs cost American consumers about $3 billion every month because of higher prices.

In response for causing economic pain, Trump is working on a new bailout scheme to placate farmers. His previous $12 billion bailout, paid for by taxpayers, was criticized by farmers as insufficient.

Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, recently said she does not believe Trump understands how the economy generally, and global trade in particular, really work.

As Trump continues to bungle the trade war with China, Yellen is increasingly proven correct.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.