Sunday, April 22, 2018

Rural Farmers take heat for Reckless Trump Tariff Threats!

It's funny how rural Republican voters are okay with letting their politicians screw 'em over, because...their legislator isn't a Democrat?
Beijing imposed a temporary 179% tariff on American sorghum, a grain used by China to feed livestock and make baijiu, a popular liquor. So far, the United States has imposed tariffs on solar panels and washing machines in January, and aluminum and steel in March, all of which affect China. However, it wasn’t until President Trump began targeting Beijing specifically, with a threat on March 22 to impose sanctions on $50 billion of Chinese imports, that rhetoric quickly escalated into back-and-forth threats of tariffs in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
The Trump tariffs are one good example. These off-the-cuff typically mindless moves by Trump are nothing like the pasts more strategic tariffs. Trump's scattershot threats have swept in huge swaths of conservative voters, namely the farm community. The collateral damage, speculative or real, is taking its toll. Here are a few stories of Trump's victims:

Two important Wisconsin products won't benefit from a possible trade war. It will likely hurt them. The motives are political. But the effects trickle down to hurt local economies.

When it comes to growing ginseng, nobody does it quite like Marathon County. "Wisconsin ginseng is sort of the cream of the crop when it comes to American ginseng," said Hsu's Ginseng Enterprises Director of Operations Mike Klemp-North. 90 percent of the U.S.'s ginseng crop is grown in Wisconsin. Ninety-five percent of that crop is grown in Marathon County. "We're already selling the Cadillac version of American ginseng, and to add 15 percent is going to increase the price even more," said Klemp-North. China placed tariffs on many products, from scrap metal to pork.

Cranberries also got hit with the tariffs. Tom Lochner, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association, said the state grows half of the world's cranberries. The market just began expanding to China, but high tariffs could stop that growth. "Opening up markets to cranberries is important to us, it's important to our growers and it helps improve returns as we increase demands for the product," said Lochner. But they ultimately have no say. Wisconsinites are caught in the middle of a political fight that doesn't show signs of ending soon. China placed these tariffs as retaliation to President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. 
From PBS's Market to Market, agriculture and the effects of a 25% tariff on farm products, like beef, pork, corn, soybeans. This just a few of more than 100 ag targets by China. But hey, steel manufacturers got the tariff they've always wanted, what a win:

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