Op-Ed: Trump defends his trade war as it hurts many US farmers

Posted May 16, 2019 by Ken Hanly
US president Donald Trump is continuing to defend his trade war with China that is having a very disruptive effect on the world economy including US stocks as tariffs are raised and put on more and more goods.
Fifth-generation farmer Terry Davidson  seen walking through his soybean fields in Harvard  Illinois...
Fifth-generation farmer Terry Davidson, seen walking through his soybean fields in Harvard, Illinois, expects to still be farming long after trade tensions with China have become a distant memory
Derek R. HENKLE, AFP/File
Trump's defense of his trade war tactics
Trump says that the "great patriot farmers" of the US would reap the rewards when the US ultimately wins the trade war. He also said that he would compensate any farmers for any losses they have suffered from the tariffs that China placed on some US agricultural products in response to Trump's tariffs. Trump suggested that China would pay for the compensation through higher tariffs on their goods. Actually the US taxpayer will pay through higher prices for Chinese goods.
Reaction mixed to Trump's agriculture aid program
The reaction to Trump's announcement last August of a $12 billion aid program for farmers negatively affected by tariffs and the trade war was mixed with some positive and some negative.
Among the negative comments were the following: "South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says the trade aid program is totally inadequate. "If you think that we're at 1976 cost of living, it might be, but it didn't work back then, so I don't know how it will work now. This is just more evidence that this administration had no idea how they were going to use or even act on a tariff war. This is terrible for our young farmers.."I've heard from young farmers like crazy this past couple of weeks. I've heard from bankers. I've heard from accountants. No one knows how this is going to pan out. No one is sleeping at night. This is more serious than anyone is considering."
Trump trying to mollify farmers
Trump is promising farmers that everything will turn out well. Farmers were heavy backers of Trump and if his policies hurt their interests he will suffer at the polls. The tariffs have made many US farmers noncompetitive in the Chinese market. Senator Cotton a Republican from Arkansas was less worried about farmers suffering from Trump's policy. He suggested that China would suffer more and that made the policy worth it. He also said that the suffering farmer's make is nothing compared to the sacrifice US soldier's make in US wars overseas. Farmers may not be impressed by this reasoning.
There is no sign right now of a resolution to the trade war with China. The Trump bullying tactics appear not to have worked. According to the appended video Kansas farmers are still all behind Trump. We will see if that is true next election.