President Donald Trump’s promises to rural America haven’t worked out well. He promised farmers that he would fight for them and get better trade deals. He failed. He then promised farmers that he would bail them out with a subsidy saving them from the trade war. He failed, giving the overwhelming majority of the subsidies to corporate farms, most of which aren’t even in rural American. Now farmers are striking back.
Bloomberg News reported a meeting between farmers and Sec. of Agriculture Sonny Perdue did not go well Wednesday.
”Farmers’ discontent over President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China erupted into the open,” the site reported.
Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, unleashed on Perdue calling out the administration for causing “devastating damage not only to rural communities.”
He trashed Trump’s $28 billion “trade aid,” saying that the public already views it “as a welfare program” or “bailouts.”
Chris Clayton, the ag policy editor for DTN, noted that Perdue tried to lighten the mood by telling a joke: “What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.” The joke drew boos from a crowd for trying to label angry farmers as whiners.
Farmer tells @SecretarySonny Perdue he has problem with the USDA reports. Acreage report killed price rally. Perdue defends NASS
“There’s no cynicism or conspiracy there at all.”
Perdue gets a few boos at a joke: What do you call 2 farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.”
— Chris Clayton (@ChrisClaytonDTN) August 7, 2019
Brian Thalmann, who serves as the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, lamented that Trump’s claim that farmers are doing “great,” was a lie.
“We are not starting to do great again,” he said. “We are starting to go down very quickly.”
American Soybean Association’s Joel Schreurs explained that they’re in real danger of losing “long-term” because of the trade war with China, because the country is their largest importer.
Perdue went on the attack.
“If your solution is to forget about what China has done and sell and trade with them anyway with cheating, then I just fundamentally disagree with you,” he told farmers.
In June, Trump enjoyed 54 percent approval rating of rural voters.