Head Of Farm Group Says Trump Needs To End Trade Tariffs Or Face Political Consequences

Head Of Farm Group Says Trump Needs To End Trade Tariffs Or Face Political Consequences

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The tariffs President Donald Trump has imposed on Canada, China, the European Union, and Mexico are doing little more than allowing him to pretend he’s tough at the expense of workers in the United States. And some of them are saying they’ve had enough.

Michael Petefish, the President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, was a guest on CNN Wednesday morning, and he said Trump’s trade policies are hurting farmers — many of whom voted for the president — very badly:

“It’s not about the man or the party. It’s about specific policies. We in agriculture are very supportive of trade, and this president has not been.”

Host Poppy Harlow asked if Petefish would support Trump in 2020 if the tariffs continue. He replied:

“The jury’s still out on that.”

Petefish then added:

“Timing is critical on this trade deal. If, in three or five years we have a better trade agreement, that won’t matter to most farmers because we’re hurting financially now and we won’t have the ability to run our businesses in the red for the next several years.

“The trade needs to get fixed now.”

On Tuesday, as a sop to American farmers, the White House announced it would be doling out $12 billion in emergency relief to those most impacted by the ongoing trade war. But Petefish wasn’t mollified by the president’s proposal:

$12 billion damage is just sort of scratching the surface of the economic impact.What’s concerning is the future. Are we going to keep pumping $12 billion into the farming economy? What we need is markets.”

Wednesday morning, Trump addressed the issue of trade as it relates to farming with tweets that prove how little he understands about global trade:

Such empty platitudes are unlikely to placate farmers like Michael Petefish, many of whom are now having trouble paying their bills.

Featured Image Via USDA