Despite growing and widespread anger among American farmers at President Trump’s erratic and misguided trade and tariff policies, Congressman Cline says farmers believe Trump is on the right path.
“The farmers who I talk to want to give him a chance to get a better deal with China,” Cline told radio station WFIR last week.
Really, Congressman? How many farmers have you talked to about the tariffs? Do all of them share this view?
Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin is skeptical.
You know the setup — a sturdy farmer suffering from Trump-imposed tariffs grits his teeth and says he’s hurting but, by josh, he’s not parting with Trump whom he trusts to do the right thing. We are to conclude that Trump possesses magical political power, that farmers are too dumb to know what’s good for them or both.
Well, it turns out Trump has no magic, and farmers know exactly what the president is doing to them. MSNBC on Monday interviewed Bob Kuylen, vice president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, who explained that his wheat farm, which depends on overseas markets, has lost $400,000 because of the administration’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and subsequent trade wars. During another interview, Christopher Gibbs, a soybean and corn farmer in Ohio, ridiculed Trump’s farm bailouts — which he called “hush money” intended to “sedate” farmers — and made clear that taxpayers are paying for this, not China. He, too, is losing money.
Last month Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner expressed concerns about how Trump’s trade war with China is affecting farmers and others in Viriginia.
“What creates recessions? Uncertainty, trade wars can create recessions,” Sen. Kaine said.
The two spoke before the business community at a Hampton Roads Chamber event. Both agree China is a problem, but think the U.S. needs to work with other countries in addressing them.
“This president tends to do everything on his own and that means the trade war with China is dramatically hurting, for example, Virginia farmers,” said Warner.
Despite massive evidence to the contrary, Cline assures us that Trump understands all the complexities involved in the trade war and knows exactly what he is doing:
I think we’re in a constant state of change and modification so that the President is on top of where all the different markets are, what’s going on with our relationship with China, what’s going on with their relationship with other countries, whether it’s Japan or South Korea or North Korea, making sure that America comes first, that American farmers come first, that American consumers come first.
Jennifer Rubin has an apt observation:
Republican red-state congressmen and senators are so busy fawning and kowtowing to Trump, excusing his ignorance and craziness, and straining to avoid mean tweets that they have, along with Trump himself, failed some of the most reliable Republican voters in the country.