With President Donald Trump sparking trade wars with Canada, Mexico, the EU and China, some of his supporters in the Midwest are starting to feel uneasy about the direction he’s taking the country.
As CNN reports, soybean farmers in southern Minnesota are already feeling the pinch of China targeting their industry for retaliatory tariffs, as those tariffs are lowering commodity prices and hurting their farms’ value.
“This isn’t just numbers on a sheet or percentage of trade or dollar value,” Michael Petefish, a Trump-backing farmer, tells CNN. “This is multi-generational American families, your base, that you are now squarely putting into financial peril.”
Fellow soy farmer Dale Stevermer, meanwhile, tells CNN that an escalating trade war between the United States and China is not going to do people in his profession any good, no matter what the president says.
“I cringe,” he says of Trump’s trade wars. “When a tariff even gets talked about, it makes both the buyers and the sellers jumpy. It’s going to impact my bottom line, it’s going to impact my business livelihood, and, to an extent, it becomes a mental outlook.”
Tom Slunecka, the CEO of the Minnesota Soybean Association, says that the political blowback against the president could strike just in time for the midterm elections if the president hasn’t done anything to deescalate the trade wars he’s started.
“We have got about a month and a half where we can play with this thing and then after that, these prices have to be corrected, so we urge the administration to do what it has to do and do it quickly,” he says. “If we get into harvest with prices like they are, it will decimate much of farm country.”