Last week, Trump slammed China with massive tariffs inciting a trade war he’d been threatening for months. The eastern giant retaliated with tariffs of their own, a move technically directed at the president, but it is not Trump who will suffer from this move; instead, the rural farmers he swore up and down to protect will face the brunt of this brutal blow.
“But if we do a deal with China, if, during the course of a negotiation they want to hit the farmers because they think that hits me, I wouldn’t say that’s nice. But I tell you, our farmers are great patriots,” Trump rambled, further adding to his alphabet soup, “These are great patriots. They understand that they’re doing this for the country. And we’ll make it up to them. And in the end, they’re going to be much stronger than they are right now.”
Other notable take-aways from his dithering diatribe was a note that farmers have been “trending downward over an eight-year period.” The man cannot seem to resist the impulse to dig at his predecessor, even as a hefty portion of his base fears for their livelihoods because of his own actions.
Farmers across the country have voiced that very concern since Trump slapped China with a $50 billion penalty as well as an additional $100 billion a few days later. The escalating trade war is cause for concern given the huge Chinese market for agricultural imports from U.S. farms.
Unsurprisingly, Trump’s administration has offered conflicting statements on the matter. Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told a town hall in Ohio that Trump had promised him farmers would not be hurt by the trade dispute with China.
“… He said, ‘Sonny, you can assure your farmers out there that we’re not going to allow them to be the casualties if this trade dispute escalates. We’re going to take care of our American farmers. You can tell them that directly.’ ”
Now, Trump says the “patriots” will “understand.” Hopefully Trump “understands” when the backlash against him in 2020 is so great he never sees his second term.
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