Trade war could hurt 300,000 American farmers in Trump-voting states

150,000 steelworkers might benefit, but is that a smart trade off? Not if you understand simple math.

Yet again, the very people who voted for Trump will be suffering from his policy decisions. This time it’s farmers. In particular, 300,000 soybean farmers and their intertwined communities who will be hurt in a trade war Trump picked with China. Why? To protect 150,000 steel workers in swing state Pennsylvania. Maybe if the farmers were all concentrated in a swing state too Trump might care.

China is the largest buyer of American soybeans, a 14 Billion dollar a year business, and they are purposely targeting the vegan bean to send a message to Trump’s base. Wang Jiangyu, professor at the National University of Singapore confirmed this. “Those agricultural products that China included in its new tariffs were targeted at Trump's supporters, those states and people who supported Trump. Now the farmers have to suffer. It's a direct siege on Trump's political base — to wake him up.”

US consumers won’t suffer in the short term if soybeans stay here and make food cheaper, but people aren’t very good at seeing the long term effects. Entire communities will be hit economically when a soy farmer gets hit. Hardware stores, equipment, local restaurants, farm workers, local economies are all intertwined.

William Reinsch, Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the former president of the National Foreign Trade Council said, "If [a farmer] can't unload his soybeans, he loses money. Then the bank loses money if he has trouble paying his loans. The tax base in his community suffers,” taxes which pay for police, fire, and schools.

What about Trump’s base, do they get it? “The rural people of this country elected Trump on the basis that he would help put value back into small communities all over this country and bring a sense of pride and authenticity back to the slogan Made in America," Brandon Whitt, a Tennessee soy farmer, said.

"Tariffs on American soybeans will be a crushing blow" with a "ripple-down effect sure to come in all facets.” A farmer gets it, but what about the people in his town who won’t be hurt until a few years go by?

You almost want to say I told you so... Frankly, these people are getting what they voted for and it’s easy to gloat. Problem is they will never even see their error. Years go by as these communities fade, and then when a Democrat is in charge they will blame them.

By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca

For more read, "American farmers in Trump-voting states may get hit hardest by a trade war" by Ben Popken for Business Insider on March 24, 2018.