More stinging criticism of the agricultural industry harms from the Trump tariffs and the proposed aid package to offset some of those harms since my post about the dairy industry yesterday — this article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is full of pointed arguments against them:
Bill Gordon, a soybean farmer near Worthington, Minn., said his crop lost $100,000 in value since talk of tariffs picked up in the late spring, and he sees no way that an infusion of government money can make up for that.
“We’d rather have trade,” Gordon said. “Any aid package, no matter what dollar amount, is a Band-Aid on an arterial bleed.” …
Some farm-state Republicans criticized Trump’s move, suggesting it amounted to the government’s picking winners and losers in the economy.
“This is becoming more and more like a Soviet-type of economy here: Commissars deciding who’s going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they’re going to sprinkle around benefits,” Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told Politico. “I’m very exasperated. This is serious.”
They’re also having knock-on effects on related industries. The retaliatory pork tariffs, for example, are constricting the pork processing business and causing layoffs there:
“In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported zero weekly export sales of pork to China,” says Mary Lovely, an economist at Syracuse University. “So our exports to the country have pretty much collapsed.” …
But the tariffs aren’t just affecting farmers. Chuck McCarthy runs a cold storage meat warehousing business in the port of Wilmington, N.C.
“Well I’ll tell you, we’re a relatively new company,” he says. “We’ve been very busy the first year and a half but have noticed a change since the tariffs with China and all have started.”
McCarthy says his biggest customer was sending him sizable loads of pork products every day to ship to China. It was a lot a work — more than $100,000 a month.
“We’re blast freezing that product for them, we’re storing it for ’em, we’re preparing it for export, we’re loading the containers out,” McCarthy says. But he says that about four weeks ago, “it just stopped.”
McCarthy called to find out why. “They said their company was not packing anything for China as a result of the political situations that were going on.”
So the trade fight between the Trump administration and China means a big hit for McCarthy’s business.