"Dark Path Ahead": Why American Farmers Dread The Trade War

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

While automakers - and their dealerships - are getting most of the headlines this week, the effects of the escalating trade war (sorry, officially a trade tantrum, or trade discussion according to The White House) between Presidents Trump, Xi, and Putin are rippling across numerous US industries - directly, and indirectly.

Makers of whiskey, cheese, auto parts and more are contending with the global tariff battle - but it is US farmers that appear to be suffering the most.

Casey Guernsey, a spokesman for Americans for Farmers and Families, says in emailed statement that:

China dealt its latest blow to American agriculture today with threats of even more tariffs on the horizon,”

“Following Canada’s tariffs on U.S. products earlier this week, America’s farmers and families are staring down a dark path with no signs of relief in sight”

“We are counting on the administration and Congress to reach a resolution on responsible trade policies -- before we’re forced to shut down our operations for good”

And he was not alone, American farm groups, companies and officials reacted as China’s tariffs on agricultural products went into effect on Friday.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst appeared on CBS' "Face The Nation" warning that"

...farmers, ranchers are “always the first to be retaliated against” in these types of “trade negotiations," adding that farmers have been put in “very vulnerable position.”

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says in statement on website:

“The continued escalation of trade tensions with China is having a real impact on Iowa farmers and businesses,”

“We have seen a significant drop in prices for both crops and livestock and this is creating even more stress and uncertainty during what was already a difficult time for the ag economy

“There are real issues in our trade relationship with China that need to be addressed, but Iowa agriculture cannot continue to bear the brunt of the retaliation from our trading partners”

 Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio, says in statement:

Tariffs from China, Mexico mean “40 percent of total American pork exports now are under retaliatory tariffs, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of U.S. pig farmers."

“We now face large financial losses and contraction because of escalating trade disputes. That means less income for pork producers and, ultimately, some of them going out of business."

“We need these trade disputes to end”

U.S. Wheat Associates says in statement on its website:

“Unable to accept the risk of escalating import prices, Chinese customers stopped making new purchases of U.S. wheat last March,”

...

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