In an interview with farmers in Michigan who are seeing the agricultural tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump possibly destroy their livelihood, the Detroit News reports they can’t even get their congressional representatives to stand up for them.
According to David Williams, a fifth-generation soybean farmer in Elise, Michigan, the 25 percent tariff imposed by China in retaliation for the president’s tariffs is killing the agricultural sector.
“Nobody wins in a trade war,” said Williams, the 67-year-old president of the Michigan Soybean Association. “We’re not going to win. China’s not going to win. In the meantime, soybean farmers are just hurting.”
According to the report, “With farm net incomes down nearly 60 percent since 2013, many farmers who supported the president in 2016 are feeling further strain as they face the repercussions of an intensifying trade war. The price of soybeans has plunged 17 percent in the past month. Williams has seen $2 less per bushel of soybeans, about a 20 percent decrease.”
Williams pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump, who he believes was put in the White House by rural mid-westerners like himself.
“I feel like agriculture has supported the current administration,” Williams explained. “I don’t feel that support coming back to us.”
According to Williams, Trump’s tariffs were put in place over disputes over intellectual property, and that the retaliatory Chinese tariffs have turned farmers into collateral damage.
“The farmers didn’t do it,” Williams said. “We’re the bright spot in the economy.”
He went on to explain that declining farm income means less money to be spent on new equipment which will have a ripple effect on the manufacturing sector.
Worst of all, Williams says that, after a visit to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and White House officials, farmers’ worries are being ignored.
“So far,” he lamented, “our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.”
You can read the whole report here.