While letting the legal system pile up corruption convictions against all the president’s men – with Russia’s Agent Orange-hair in Mueller’s crosshairs – and watching law-and-order Republicans crawfish toward hypocrisy with these illegalities just as the irreligious right ignores blatant immoralities, let’s check in on President Trump’s trade war.
Recent stories confirm what earlier economists predicted: On Aug. 20, Aris Folley reported for The Hill: “The CEO of the world’s largest shipping company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, warned that President Trump’s trade war “could easily” end up hitting the U.S. economy harder than the rest of the world.”
According to Bloomberg, Skou announced at a company meeting, “that while global annual trade growth could decrease by 0.1 to 0.3 percent, U.S. trade could suffer a blow of “perhaps 3 or 4 percent.”
On Aug. 18, Kerry Eleveld of The Daily Kos reported: “ The question facing many soybean farmers these days relating to Donald Trump’s trade war with China is: “How long can I hold out?” Nebraska farmer and Trump supporter Doug Saathoff told the Los Angeles Times about “his dilemma over the falling price of soybeans and whether his business could absorb the financial blow.”
With a bleaker outlook, Joel Samuelson proclaimed, “He’s gonna kill us” at a local meeting.
Still holding hard feelings against Cornhuskers? The July 24 Business section of The Oklahoman headlined a story: “Trade war gets local: Tariffs raise concerns among Oklahoma industries.” Hannah Pike reported: “In President Donald Trump’s multinational trade war, an estimated $208 million worth of Oklahoma exports are in danger because of retaliatory tariffs. Exports of meat – pork in particular – iron and steel pipes and cotton are especially at risk according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Oklahoma jobs – 401,000 of them – are supported by trade.” Two days prior, The Oklahoman reported, “Trade war sends pork prices plummeting.”
On Aug. 13, the Associated Press ran a story from Omaha pointing out,” More farm loan applications are being rejected in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states in reaction to weak farm commodity prices and income. ”The latest Rural Mainstreet survey says nearly one-third of bank CEOs reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans, while nearly 55 percent indicated their banks had raised collateral requirements in the face of weak farm prices and income.”
The same day CBS News noted, “Because of the Trump administration’s tariffs on certain imports, some American companies are getting hit twice – when they import raw materials and when they sell their final products.” That same report featured discontent from South Carolina where GOP Rep. Tom Rice was confronted at town hall meetings with: “’Stand up and DO something about it! Say something!” one constituent admonished him.’ “’Those tariffs are taxes on the working people!’ said another.”
Rice’s response was typical Republicanese: “This is the classic example of short-term discomfort for long-term gain.”
Sure, it’s just a “short-term discomfort” if small industries, independent farmers and their employees lose their livelihoods. GOP corporate socialists prefer less competition – and a desperate workforce.
(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)