Most folks in my family voted for Donald Trump, and we’ve had some spirited discussions about his trade war’s impact on farmers.
But since none of our clan is currently experiencing the day-to-day realities of running a farm, I’m left confused about our president’s farm policy. I think I must be missing something here.
I completely get that the tariffs are aimed at changing the economic policies of China. Almost no one disagrees on the many ways China is cheating. The challenge is how best to confront them.
And it’s true that a few sectors of our economy have benefited substantially from the trade war. The steel and aluminum industries, for example, have enjoyed the rising prices we pay them as a result of the tariffs.
But what stake do farmers actually have in this war? My questions boil down to these:
1) Is farmers’ support of the trade war due to some trade practice of the Chinese that was hurting American agriculture before the war began?
2) Or are farmers’ sacrifices simply the unavoidable cost of supporting the President?
3) Or is there some other reason farmers are the uncomplaining casualties in this war?
What am I missing? Possibly comments to this letter may help me understand.