The price of supporting Trumpism – whether on economics, immigration, or foreign policy – is decline. For it all, some farmers will choose their own humiliation, their own degradation, for the sake of supporting Trump.
Tory Newmyer describes what awaits Midwestern agriculture in Farmers are bracing for more tariff pain. But they’re sticking with Trump — for now:
“I don’t think there’s anybody in our community or in Congress who can change the president’s mind on this stuff,” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson tells me. “Probably nobody in the administration, either. If people haven’t figured out the president is going to do what he wants, they aren’t paying attention.”
The industry has borne a disproportionate share of the pain from the year-old conflict — part of a deliberate effort by Beijing to target Trump’s base. More is on the way: Chinese officials announced Monday they would impose new tariffs on $60 billion of American goods, including higher penalties on farm products, after the Trump administration on Friday more than doubled the duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports. And Trump is moving to go still further, launching an effort Monday effectively to tax all remaining Chinese imports, about $300 billion worth of products.
Farm advocates say bailouts don’t solve a fundamental, long-term problem Trump created for farmers with the trade war, effectively locking the door to one of the world’s most important markets for their goods. “The markets [for American agricultural exports] have literally been destroyed in this process,” Johnson says.
(Emphasis in original.)
People choose freely: sometimes well, sometimes poorly. Rural communities already suffering from declining manufacturing, ineffectual corporate welfare, opioid addiction, and resulting brain drain will be made only poorer by Trump’s anti-market trade policies.