Once Again Trump The Arsonist Tries To Put Out Trade War Fire & Farmer Crisis With $12 Billion Aid Package But Farmers May Not Be Buying It
After the Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it is earmarking $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by the international trade war, the political motivation was clear: it was a move aimed at maintaining the support of the white farming towns that had overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Trump was scheduled to speak in Iowa two days after the announcement, and reporting suggested that the Department of Agriculture was scrambling to announce details of the aid package weeks earlier than originally planned.
However, the political play doesn’t seem to be working as well as the Trump administration would like. Thus far, both the aid package and announcement that the European Union will be increasing imports of American soybeans have been met with tepid responses from farming communities across the country, including in key swing states.
The Sidney Daily News in Shelby County, Ohio, where 78 percent of voters went for Trump, reporting suggested mixed reactions about the aid package with Christopher Gibbs going as far as to cal the aid package “hush money.”
Gibbs stated, “Let me tell you a riddle, I slept with a billionaire because he said he loved me. I expected to make love, but in the morning I realized I was getting screwed. When I went to tell the world, I was offered cash to keep my mouth shut. Who am I? No, I’m not a model or someone named Stormy. I’m the American farmer.”
Local news outlets across the South previously considered to generally be Trump country are also reporting discontent with the administration’s approach to minimizing the negative effects of Trump’s international tariffs. Arkansas television station THV11 reported that the tariffs could cost up to 24,000 jobs in the state. Many local rice farmers were quoted stating that they prefer “trade not aid,” and access to global markets. Similar sentiments were echoed in Tennessee and eastern North Carolina, where farmers told local news outlets that they preferred open and free markets over government aid.
Hemesath and Gibbs both grow soybean, which is the United States’ top agricultural export and are arguably the crop most negatively affected by the trade war. Along with several other of America’s biggest agricultural exports, China imposed a 25 percent increase in tariffs on U.S. soybeans exports at the beginning of the month after the White House announced steep tariffs on Chinese imports. Soybeans are planted in late spring so when the trade war began, this year’s crops were already in the ground giving farmers no opportunity to adjust the amount they would plant to compensate for the sudden decrease in demand.
Trump reached out to soybean farmers on Wednesday when he announced a new trade agreement with the EU., however, two days later, the tentative deal hit a sudden obstacle. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross claimed that “all agricultural products” would be included in the ongoing trade negotiations, something the EU quickly denied making it unclear whether the announced deal will yield any significant increased exports.