July 9, 2018/Press Release

ICYMI: Missouri Farmers Say They Are Increasingly Concerned as Hawley-Backed Trade War Escalates

COLUMBIA, Mo. — On Friday, the Trump administration exacerbated global trade tensions by imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, prompting China to retaliate with its own taxes on American exports such as pork and soybeans. For months, Missouri farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers have been urging the Trump administration to stop putting their livelihoods at risk with its reckless trade war. Now, farmer and manufacturers are growing increasingly concerned, saying that “the patience for what’s going on now is starting to wear thin,” especially as the escalating trade war “comes off the backs of the American farmer.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s David Nicklaus noted that, “It’s hard to see a way out of this trade war short of continuing to ramp up and continuing to hurt farmers and small manufacturers.”

Despite these concerns, Josh Hawley has continued to voice his support for the President’s tariffs.

Here’s how the Trump administration’s latest round of tariffs are already impacting Missouri’s economy:

“Nearly $1.8 billion in exports and thousands of jobs throughout the Four-State Area are at risk because of a trade war that escalated Thursday and Friday. That’s according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which also concluded that most of what is at risk — $881 million — comes from Missouri.” [Joplin Globe]

“China retaliated against the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese products Friday by imposing $34 billion in tariffs on hundreds of American goods, including soybeans. Analysts say the added expense of China’s 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans will effectively block the product from entering the Chinese market.” [St. Louis Public Radio]

“‘[The trade war] just makes it tougher to do everything,’ said [Missouri Dairy Farmer Marc] Delong, ‘everybody’s going to lose more money, which it’s already hard to make, you’re already just barely making ends meet, the way it is. Our country was built on the small family farm.'” [Ozarks First]

“‘People don’t realize who it hurts,’ Marilyn Calvin, a Mount Vernon dairy producer, said of the trade war and the tariffs. ‘It comes off the backs of the American farmer. I don’t think most Americans realize how it is going to affect the American farmer.’” [Joplin Globe]

“’If we continue to see prices at this level, farmers will be forced out of business,’ said Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation. ‘At some point, it becomes difficult to pay your loan back, it’s hard to support your family.’” [St. Louis Public Radio]

“[Casey] Guernsey, a former northwest Missouri State Representative, tells Brownfield Ag News the effects of trade retaliation are hitting farmers where it hurts. ‘My family, we’ve seen some of our customers begin selling off their breeding stock and that’s something that is a long-term consequence for any farming operation and certainly those of us who provide stock for other farms. This is really disheartening,’ he says.” [Missourinet]

“Missouri cotton marketer Barry Bean said one of his farmers was so freaked out about the tariff threat that he sold nearly 80 percent of the crop before he had planted anything this spring. He has no crop insurance.” [Reuters]

“‘I think that [the tariffs] really has the potential to hurt a lot of farmers that were already struggling in the dairy industry,’ [said Missouri Dairy Farmer Lesley] Million.” [Ozarks First]

“’Perhaps something needed to be done, but the patience for what’s going on now is starting to wear thin,’ [Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst] said. ‘It’s not clear to anybody, I don’t think, what the end game is here, what President Trump hopes to accomplish.’” [St. Louis Public Radio]

“Third-generation soybean farmer Bobby Aycock has cut his operating expenses, avoided buying new equipment and rented out some of his farmland.” [Reuters]

“For Missouri manufacturers affected by President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs, the clock is ticking. Eventually, customers of Joplin’s CNC Machine Products and other businesses will refuse to continue paying the prices that have been driven up as a result of the 25 percent duty on imported steel, CNC President Greg Scheurich said this week.” [Joplin Globe]

“With soybean prices already averaging 15 percent below production costs, Midwest growers are now preparing for the possible repercussions of a trade war.” [St. Louis Public Radio]

“It’s hard to see a way out of this trade war short of continuing to ramp up and continuing to hurt farmers and small manufacturers.” [David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

““It is now also increasingly clear that the way the steel and aluminum tariffs have been used will result in retaliatory tariffs from our largest trading partners and closest allies, and that retaliation will have serious negative economic impacts on the United States.” [Columbia Chamber of Commerce]