American Farmers Are Losing Patience With Trump’s Trade War

American Farmers Are Losing Patience With Trump’s Trade War May 15, 2019

Trade wars – easy to win, amirite?

Yeah, about that…

We know our president is ignorant to the effects of trade wars, is to the far left, when it comes to the reliable conservative standard of free trade, and as an oft-bankrupt, proven failure at business, no one should expect him to understand how trade or deficits work.

The problem is, with that glaring lack of economic acumen, he’s still our president, and Republicans in Congress have no will to step up and exercise the oversight authority given to them in the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, for the past several years, the neutered wing of Congress has served as nothing more than a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s ill-advised, destructive impulses.

In recent days, the president has decided to increase tariffs on China to 25 percent. That figure covers around $200 billion in goods, including things like furniture and handbags.

In retaliation, China has raised tariffs on goods from the United States to the tune of $60 billion. This move, set to go into effect on June 1, will cover more than 5,000 products, including beef, flowers, coffee, salmon, fruits and vegetables.

In his ignorance, President Trump has crowed that he loves the position tariffs have put the U.S. in, not understanding that the result of his trade war is seen in rising costs of goods, passed on to the American consumers.

He also doesn’t really understand that if China makes American goods – like produce and meat – unaffordable, farmers and ranchers will suffer.

Trump has been informed of this.

He doesn’t care.

In fact, on several occasions, the president has insisted that farmers would “understand” and still support his trade war, putting their own self-interest and the well-being of their families on the back burner.

He recently called them “patriot farmers,” sure that they’ll tighten their belts and wait for the government bailout – a thing Republicans once balked at – to ease their suffering.

Think about it: Americans must pay inflated prices for goods, by way of raised taxes, so the government can redistribute those monies to the farmers who were hurt by the tariffs, in the first place. That’s pretty much socialism, not conservatism.

I mean, they will stand by him in this, right?

Maybe not.

Farmers are already feeling the pain, and many of them are rethinking their earlier support of Trump and his policies.

CNN approached farmers in Iowa to get their take on the president’s continued attack on free trade.

Iowa farmer Larry Angler, for instance, told CNN that Trump’s trade war combined with recent flooding mean that he and his family stand to lose more than $100,000 this year alone.

That’s a hefty loss.

When asked if he voted for Trump in 2016, Angler replied, “I did — I’ll never vote for him again!”

Donald Trump’s great failure, besides his ignorance of literally everything related to the position he holds, is his ego, and his unwillingness to take good counsel.

He truly believes that his is adored, not for what he does, but for who he is. He feels he can do no wrong. He can cross no line where he could possibly lose his base.

I understand why. For the past several years we’ve seen that, indeed, he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and still not lose the support of some of his followers.

Still, there are those who are seeing the folly of voting for a personality over experience and character, and how reckless voting-as-entertainment can be.

Another Iowa farmer by the name of Robert Ewoldt has resorted to working nights as a truck driver, just to keep the family farm afloat.

Anyone who knows farming knows the days begin before the crack of dawn and stretch on until sunset, some days.

This man has to work nights, as well.

“That’s what’s keeping this farm going,” he said.

When pressed, he admitted regret for supporting Trump in 2016, and that should be understandable.

I guess he’s out of the “patriot farmer” club.

He must be Deep State, or something.

And Iowa farmer Greg Beaman told CNN that he’s grown impatient waiting for Trump’s purported deal-making skills to produce a trade agreement with China that would give American farmers access to the world’s largest market again.

“He better hurry up and start producing a little bit,” he said. “Because so far, what I’m seeing, this negotiation has not panned out.”

And it won’t, because he has rejected the counsel of those around him who understand trade.

Unfortunately, elections have consequences, and we’ve likely not even scratched the surface.

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  • IllinoisPatriot

    I’ve found that for every few that will admit to something, there are many morel living with private regret over the same thing.

    In this case, I believe Turmp’s poll numbers are more a result of bribing pollsters and foreign influence via interference in on-line polls (Russian bot-nets) than the true “pulse of the voter”. I also suspect that the frequent text messages (virtually daily) from the GOP asking for money to support Trump are doing the GOP more harm than good when they are accompanied during these non-election years) by news of continual GOP betrayals and failures to even ATTEMPT to do their primary jobs as representatives of the people instead of representatives of McConnell’s party or of Trump’s cult.

    That the farmers would regret voting for Trump was an easy prediction over a year ago.

    Let’s see if any of my other predictions also come true:
    – US economic near- (or total) economic collapse due to economic war with the entire world.
    – A shooting war with N. Korea with possibly China and Russia joining agains the US.
    – Trump attempting to use first-strike nuclear weapons (though this would likely not become public if it occurred as high-level military would probably refuse to comply (even Trump supporters are not suicidal) and politicians would recognize that any such attempt by Trump would be instant disqualification of THEMSELVES at the next election for their long-term refusal to stand up to Trump. Also both the military and high-level sycophants surrounding Trump would likely fear voter backlash if not a spate of full-out assassination attempts.
    – The public will abandon the GOP as a party due to repeated and severe betrayals and their now-obvious total disregard for the party platform they supposedly once stood for.

  • Michael Weyer

    My sister lives in Arizona and just got back from visiting her and new baby on Mother’s Day weekend. The mood in that state on Trump is not going well. They agree immigration is a big deal but would much rather be seeing money spent on training and equipment rather than a mythical wall. They’re also not happy about the tariffs and the fact Kelli Ward (who most in that state consider a boderline lunatic) is now chair of the state GOP.

    The McCain thing is also an issue. Whatever problems they had with the man politically, both Dems and Republicans respected McCain’s character and service. So having the President slam him and his memory to everyone (including McCain’s 106 year old mother) is not going over well.

    So Iowa and Arizona, both long-running GOP mainstays are turning on them solely thanks to Trump. Ohio and Wisconsin aren’t far off and don’t forget Cruz came within a hair of losing Texas. If Clinton was in office, the GOP would be a lot more united on her but so far, Trump is only driving a wedge between them and the voters they’re going to need badly next year.

  • Michael Weyer

    The United States could be a bankrupt half-irradiated Mad Max nightmare…and the Trump followers and Fox News would still be going “but Hillary had e-mails and at least we got some conservative judges!”

  • Annemarie

    Oh good grief. Kelli Ward is chair of the AZ GOP? Pause to recover. I guess that explains a lot.

    You know, it would be interesting if you get back there and attended a precinct meeting. (Best have a voter ID card, they will check.) Apparently there’s a lot of misinformation being spread, urban legends are substituting for discussion of the issues, and the atmosphere is full of rage and paranoia. And attendees just nod along and applaud.

  • Annemarie

    Farmers here are deeply unhappy. Dairy farming is in trouble anyway, with large industrial concerns pushing small farms out of the business. This isn’t going to help, and the trade wars are hitting the jobs that families rely on to provide the cash to keep the farm alive. (You know, second job as a cash crop.)

    They strongly believe in small government and self-reliance and other traditional Republican platforms. But what’s happening now leaves them with no political home.

    I’m skeptical of poll data. The surveys are constructed so that you’re pushed one way or another, and the questions are hard to answer because there’s so much nuance involved. It’s easy to answer with simplified talking points, which really don’t reflect how we believe.

    And yet that data is all we have to work with.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    Your prediction may yet come to pass – especially if Trump wins a 2nd term…..

  • Pearl Nardini

    I’ve wondered why farmers voted for Trump in the first place…probably because he had an “R” after his name. Whatever the reason they will live to regret it and hopefully they will use better judgment the next time. And, I would hope the GOP bigwigs would find somebody to replace the narcissistic bully now occupying the White House…that is hoping for too much but hey I can dream can’t I?

  • chemical

    Sad to say I think you’re right here, except I think a hot war with North Korea is unlikely (although not impossible — with Trump, nothing is certain), simply because North Korea doesn’t have anything worth stealing. Starting a war with Iran at least has the promise of getting to steal all their oil if we win. What are we going to steal from North Korea? Their kimchi?

    Trump may want a war for the “glory”, but I think Kim recognizes that if he starts a war he will likely end up empowering Trump, having a bunch of our allies rallying behind Trump and they all team up to grind the DPRK into dust. From Kim’s perspective, it makes more sense to manipulate Trump with empty flattery, to continue driving a wedge between the US and the rest of our allies.

  • Michael Weyer

    Don’t forget China will step in too as they don’t want a war in their backyard.

  • Ronald Langdon

    CNN approached the farmers. WHO CNN? What a joke!!!!!

  • chemical

    Definitely. China likes having North Korea around because they don’t want US military bases directly on their border. They also maintain a massive army that is hostile to the US that they don’t have to pay a single yuan for. As far as the region goes, China has an interest in maintaining the status quo there, too.

    So does Japan. North Korea is a rogue nuclear state, and I’d wager you good money that they hate Japan more than they hate the USA. Korea was under Imperial Japanese rule from 1912-1945, and they’re still bitter about it. North Korea’s founder got his start fighting the Imperial Japanese Army in China. Although I don’t think the DPRK is able to nuke the US, I do think it’s likely they can nuke Japan and wouldn’t have qualms about doing it — so it’s in Japan’s interests to prevent a war from breaking out on the Korean peninsula again.

    And obviously, South Korea has an interest in not starting a war there, and it will be their nation which gets flattened. Even if they win and founded Korea Reunited, their population swells by 50% which is all starving, uneducated peasants, with little to no infrastructure in their territory gains. The SK government has been working on potential solutions to this since the country was founded in 1948.

    So, out of the major players in East Asia — China, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan — none of them want to restart the Korean War. Russia might, but I don’t see how they gain anything from it.

  • Stephen

    I know plenty of Trump voters. None of them have abandon Trump. Our hope is to get more people to turn out to vote who will not vote for Trump.

  • Michael Weyer

    On the one hand, Russia might think chaos in that region and distraction for U.S. can only help them. At the same time, Putin is not crazy enough to think a shooting war won’t affect Russia at all.

    China may act the ally to NK now but if they suspected Kim was serious about firing off nukes, I have no doubt they’re fully prepared to arrange an “accident” for him before it gets that far.

  • Michael Weyer

    Of all the things that will baffle future historians on Trump, one of the biggest is how a lifelong New Yorker born with a silver spoon in his mouth, flaunts a wildly lavish lifestyle and puts his name in gold letters on buildings conned millions of farmers and the like into thinking he was a champion of the working class.

    They still use that idiotic “Blue Collar Billionaire” as if Trump grew up with nothing.

  • Ellen Elmore

    Pearl, I agree with everything you said. I am dreaming of the day the Republican party dumps Trump for someone better to lead the country. But since most Republicans will vote for anyone with an R next to their name, my dream isn’t going to happen soon.

  • Alpha 1

    I think I’ve said this before, but Trumpism really is class politics with material conditions replaced by cultural signifiers. Trump’s base is made up of landlords and car dealers who think they’re working class because they drive a $150,000 truck. Trump eats the same fast food they do, is as Fox News addled as they are, and shares all their cultural resentments, so they accept him as one of them. Thus an ivy-league educated billionaire is treated as a member of what they consider to be the working class, because their conception of class is totally divorced from money, control of resources, or actually doing any work.

  • Michael Weyer

    Remember that guy on another thread the other week who talked of struggling under Obama as…he went from 20 houses to seven yet still acted like he was a struggling middle class guy?

  • chemical

    I’m reminded of Tyler Durden’s wisdom from Fight Club:
    “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

  • Michael Weyer

    Yep. AZ Central just did a bit on how “She’s running the Arizona GOP into the ground” as contributions are the lowest they’ve been since 2001. No one could believe that after her loss in the Senate race (where she actually claimed McCain’s death was somehow aimed at marring her campaign), the GOP would pick her to be the chair. And this is after they have a Democrat win a Senate seat for the first time in 30 years.

  • chemical

    Oh, that was her? I remember hearing about someone whining because she thought McCain died just to stiff her.

    I thought a comment that dumb would be career-ending, but apparently in the GOP comments like that get you into a leadership position. Why? Just. Why would they do that? Were there no mediocre white guys available? Is she a wealthy heiress or something?

  • Michael Weyer

    They call her “Chemtrail Keli” in Arizona as she does believe in chemtrails and other Alex Jones garbage. And she has issues with funding of public schools which is going over so well with the state educators.

    As AZ Central puts it: “Ward is the reigning queen of the far-right fringe, a purist sent to purge the party of its last vestiges of moderation in a state increasingly partial to purple.”

    The results: In just four months on the job, she’s already dropped the contribution level of the state GOP to lows not seen since Bill Clinton left office.

  • Alpha 1

    And he said it was somehow the Jews’ fault his dad’s business was losing money. That guy was such an archetypal Trump supporter it was like we willed him into existence. If you’re ever confused by how Trump supporters see the world, just think of that guy and everything will become clear.

  • IllinoisPatriot

    I think perhaps Trump will be the straw that finally breaks the ‘party first and only’ concept so prevalent among today’s voters. Despite a plethora of evidence that BOTH parties have abandoned their platforms and all sense of responsibility to their voters, people still vote for their “mind’s image” of their party – an image that is now 20 or more years out of date and no longer valid.

    People I talk to here in IL are mostly Democrats – not because they believe in what today’s Democrat Party actually pushes and votes for, but because they believe that unions still serve a purpose in protecting workers from exploitation (child labor) of the “oppressed workers” – despite the evidence of Democrats attempting to flood the workforce with cheap, illegal labor.

    Yet these same people frequently agree with the values I hold – which I will readily admit are ‘Christian Conservative’. When pressed, they will admit that the younger generation has been raised to be entitled, lazy, selfish, greedy, disrespectful ;and demanding instead of exhibiting the traits they saw during the 50s & 60s – traits of honor, integrity, humility, nobility, family, faith, self-reliance and perseverance. They then attempt to give even more to their spoiled, enabled adult children in the mistaken belief that if they can only give enough, the children will realize the advantages of austerity, moderation and respect for property when whining and demanding has worked for them all their lives.

    Slowly, I think people are realizing that the “entitled generation” is a failure due to the parents and grandparents that failed to require them to learn responsibility and that their sense of entitlement without a corresponding sense of responsibility or good judgement is responsible for the economic and social damage we have seen under Obama and Trump and that goes back as far as (at least) Bush and Clinton..

  • JASmius

    ….which he will not.

  • JASmius

    “Rage and paranoia” sum up the Trumplican Party. And just imagine how much worse they’ll get after Trump loses next year.

  • JASmius

    Why would CNN not approach farmers? Trump is putting them out of business, and CNN doesn’t like Trump. They have every incentive to cover that ongoing story, just like all of Trump’s scandals. It’s very much like during Watergate: the press hated Nixon, and he dropped everything they ever dreamed of right in their laps. Trump is shoveling PR ammunition to the press more avidly than he shovels KFC into his sphincter-esque maw.

  • Michael Weyer

    To be fair, the line of “the younger generation is selfish, greedy and disrespectful” has been labeled onto every single generation by the one preceeding it pretty much since the beginning of civilization. I’m sure the older people in the ’50s and ’60s (which, let’s face it, were NOT utopian times) had the same talk on their kids.

  • Michael Weyer

    We can but hope.

    Which says something that despite how you, me, Patriot, chemical, alpha 1 and Susan may all have various (often very deep) differences, we’re all united in how Trump is a blight on this nation.

  • JASmius

    There is no more toxic and dangerous combination than rank ignorance and galloping narcissism. Trump doesn’t know what he doesn’t know precisely because he thinks he knows everything. Given that that mindset actually got him to the presidency, there’s no reason on Earth why he’d think any differently now. And 40% of the American public is right behind him.

    Which isn’t close to enough to get him a second term. But he, and they, don’t know that either, which will make his defeat next year all the more shocking to them and feed their insatiable conspiracism. Which just goes to show that there is no aspect of “Trumpism” that is even potentially capable of being anything but hideously ugly – and why the Right will be in the political wilderness for years to come.

  • Ronald Langdon

    Poor Susan she is going to have a heart attack!!! Patience is a virtue!! Trade wars are not won or lost in a few weeks.LOL Susan should be Trumps advisor. You will have to eat your stupid comments when Trump is finished with China . It is not very difficult to find a farmer who says he voted for Trump and has changed his mind. CNN is good and telling fake news. Or did you notice yet?