Rural farmers who overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 in large part due to his promise to “Make Farmers Great Again” are apparently getting crushed by his decision to impose tariffs on China, one of America’s biggest importers of farm produce. In a recent OutFront segment, host Erin Burnett said quoting a Wall Street Journal piece, “Farmer bankruptcy filings in major farm states are now at their highest level in at least a decade.”
When asked by Erin Burnett why Trump is subjecting rural farmers–his core base of supporters–to such economic misery via his tariffs, Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers at Trump’s White House responded by saying that even though the farmers are currently getting crushed by the tariffs, Trump is fighting for them and after the trade disputes are settled, the farmers will be better off. In essence, that farmers should hang in there because they will be better off in the long run.
Specifically, Chairman Hassett said, “Trade deals are moving forward, Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin are still working on the deal with China, and we’ve got the USMCA deal that can pass and help farmers by opening up markets in Canada and so the President has been fighting for farmers and I think that as the trade deals are realized, we’re going to open up new markets to our farm products and we’ll see if those numbers[bankruptcies] reverse.”
Yours Truly is not an Economics expert and therefore will not weigh the merits and demerits of economist Kevin Hassett’s arguments as to whether rural farmers will be well off in the long run after Trump prevails in his “fight” for them. Reasonable people however will agree that if Trump’s tariffs are indeed forcing rural farmers into bankruptcy at an alarming rate as it is being reported, the bankrupt farmers will not reap any benefits from Trump “winning” any of his trade “fights” with foreign importers. For all we know, the farmers may have to sell their farms to settle their debts.
Bottom line Trump’s tariffs have produced a lot of very angry farmers in America’s heartland. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, just look at the picture below.
As we approach the 2020 elections, Democrats must really work hard to earn the votes of these disgruntled farmers. Maybe, just maybe, these angry farmers are the key to Democrats capturing the House, Senate and the White House in 2020 and beyond. Someone at DNC should be working overtime on a sweet deal for these crushed farmers cheated by Trump and his GOP
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