Why Farmers Aren’t Going To Abandon Trump Over The Trade War

The Federalist: You’ve all seen the headlines: “China is hitting the U.S. where it hurts: Soybeans,” and “China takes aim at America’s soybean farmers,” and “Soybean farmers are still paying for Trump’s trade war” (all from CNN).

The popular narrative goes that because President Trump launched a trade war against China, China has retaliated by tariffing America’s chief export to China—agricultural products—which happen to mostly come from red states that voted for Trump. China is “crushing prices” with its retaliatory tariffs, says HBO’s Vice News. In other words, the media narrative goes, China is punishing Trump voters for being dumb enough to vote for a trade warrior.

Before the midterms, the media took its narrative one step further. Just about every mainstream media publication ran a story that said farmers may abandon Republicans because of Trump’s trade war. Quartz, for example, wrote: “New tariffs on pork exports have forced some U.S. hog producers to liquidate parts of their farming operations. One farmer who spoke to Reuters said Trump’s trade war with China cost him $200,000 this year, and that he regretted voting for Trump in 2016. He isn’t alone”

In other words, “When will the dumb Trump-supporting farmers realize that they have been conned?” You can rest assured that this narrative will once again surface before 2020’s election. Except that none of it is true. American farmers are certainly hurting, but little of this is due to the trade war. The media is trying to take advantage of American farmers’ pain for political purposes.

China Has Long Restricted U.S. Ag Trade

First of all, China long ago restricted imports of U.S. pork. According to Bloomberg, since 2011, America’s share of China’s pork imports fell from about 50 percent to less than 13 percent by 2016. China blamed this on “unsafe” U.S. pork, because most American pork producers supplement pigs’ diets with ractopamine, a safe additive fed to hogs several weeks before slaughter to help them bulk up with more lean meat.

Really, there are plenty of safety concerns with Chinese pork, and American pigs are raised and slaughtered in much more clean, controlled, and humane environments than are their Chinese cousins. In other words, China was long ago playing protectionism and attempting to boost its own hog production—so even here, Trump had a point all along.

Next, there’s a big reason that China is buying less soybeans, and it has nothing to do with the trade war. China’s pig population is being rocked by a terrible pig disease called African Swine Fever (ASF). What is ASF? ASF was first detected in Africa more than a century ago, but it has been spreading like wildfire in China since at least last year. There is no cure for ASF, and it kills well more than 90 percent of the pigs it infects in less than a week, via massive hemorrhaging. This is a gross, messy disease—think of Ebola, but for pigs. more here

13 Comments on Why Farmers Aren’t Going To Abandon Trump Over The Trade War

  1. I will under no circumstances ever buy any kind of food products made in China. If it says made in China on the label I will automatically reject it. I don’t care if it’s cheaper because I don’t want to get sick or food poisoning from an inferior raised pig or fish or any other kind of Chinese mystery meat. American raised farm products are far superior and safer to eat than anything the Chinks try to get us to buy from them.

  2. I’m on day two of GOLDEN HOUR. Which is simply a reference to the fleeting 45 minutes at the end of the day when hollywood likes to shoot all those softly lit golden scenes of peace and harmony.

    Out here GOLDEN HOUR means you live next to some part of the state that’s on fire and the whole day is that weird golden color from the sun burning through the smoke clouds. I got up and thought it was late afternoon……all day.

    The point is, it’s too smokey to check to see if every damn ingredient comes from China or not.

  3. @geoff the aardvark: Are you saying you don’t want to wake up one day and discover that we have a Chink in our Armour?


  4. The Brain from Pinky and the Brain in his best Orson Welles imitation voice, “What are we going to do tonight Pinky, try and take over the world.” By selling inferior food products to dumbass Americans who think that they’re getting a bargain, NOT!

  5. Fuckin’ farmers have enjoyed gov subsidies for years. And if they think they’re more important than the rest of us, fuck ’em altogether!

  6. Just heard today that there was a Huge corn crop
    sale from the US to an “undesignated” buyer.
    Wanna bet who?

  7. I hear that Velcro farmers in the New York and San Francisco area really pissed off. Alcoholics and Junkies depended on Velcro because the couldn’t lace there shoes.
    Now that Trump cut off subsidies to Velcro farmers, they are phucked. China will now grow most of the Velcro in the world and ship it to the US and England, at a price.
    Velcro can be grown on sandy soil.also in mountains, like Afghastan. Velcro requires very little water. The idiots who rule Afghastan, and the Idiots who don’t rule Afghnanastan are wondering if they should change from poppies to Velcro. The UN is working on it and Snopes say’s it may be half true.

  8. stopped buying dog food because a lot of it comes from China … got a good local butcher shop that I pay to grind up the trim meat, fat & bone (yes, dogs can digest ground bone; they’ve been doing it for centuries) … throw it in a pan, cook it up … the dogs love it … much healthier than ‘processed biproducts of soy, corn, oats, wheat, chlorinated biphenyl, antifreeze …’

    China: ‘we love dog … goes well with rice’

  9. Farmers flooded out in the Midwest have not only lost out to China, but have been completely devastated in any production for our own USA needs. Industrial farm operations have been designated winners of the federal monies lottery. Single family farms are always the losers to the wealthy farm lobbyists paying off in D.C.

    Thanks, Donald, For The Farmer Welfare—City Slickers Pocket Trump’s Farm Bailout
    August 18, 2019 by IWB
    “About 9,000 “city slickers” living in luxurious neighborhoods of the nation’s largest cities received a farm bailout from the Trump administration to minimize the impact of the trade war with China, an updated Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of Department of Agriculture data shows.
    “The EWG analysis of USDA data revealed that “many recipients live not in farm country but in the nation’s 50 largest cities or in other decidedly nonrural locations.”
    Urban recipients of the bailout include members of farm families, landowners, and investors. These people provide land, capital, or equipment for farms and make high-level decessions for operations.”

  10. It’s been reported that China has lost half their pigs. The other half are hold up in Communist government buildings.

  11. Our people always think the other guy has every advantage. Total loser syndrome. China has a lot to lose when it can’t feed it’s people. It causes civil unrest.

    Some people I’ve talked to said California farmers have done better about finding domestic offtakers for their commodities. Nebraska corn production is depressed anyway following the bomb cyclone flood and a subsequent one from earlier this year and won’t return until they can get their levees fixed.

    They have more to lose than we do. We might lose out on a cheaper product but they lose out on a sale, marketshare, have factory slowdowns, layoffs, etc. They force people to keep building and manufacturing even when demand is zero. Ghost cities, etc.

    But they’ll drive their economy over the cliff and they may do it because they can never admit fault and will never allow anyone else to say they have screwed up either. Just bailout, bailout, bailout. And then it will be Great Satan America that caused their problems and not greedy slant Chicom party insiders.

    We should be kicking their fucking kids out of our colleges. A percentage of which are probably intelligence agents infiltrating our companies and stealing IP.


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