A new report from Politico shows that President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is still hammering farmers in the Midwest, and one political scientist predicts that it will cost him the 2020 election if he doesn’t fix it fast.
“The president’s trade policies have sent U.S. agricultural exports plunging, exacerbating already difficult economic conditions facing farmers,” Politico reports. “Average farm income has fallen to near 15-year lows under Trump, and in some areas of the country, farm bankruptcies are soaring.”
Farming lobbying groups are hitting Capitol Hill this week to lobby the president to wind down his trade war, and they’re describing the plight American farmers are facing thanks to Trump’s tariffs.
“You’ve had farms that have gone out of business, that have gone bankrupt because of this trade war,” Brian Kuehl, the executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, tells Politico. “There’s a lot of farmers going through tough conversations right now with their lenders.”
And Gregory Wawro, political science professor at Columbia University, tells Politico that Trump is shooting his own reelection campaign in the foot as his trade war drags on.
“If the farm economy continues to get worse in the run-up to 2020, my sense is that this will be devastating to Trump,” he said. “Although it is difficult to defeat a sitting president, it is hard to see how Trump wins a second term if things play out that way.”