Surprise — just because President Donald Trump says something, we shouldn’t take is as true or even close to true. He’s routinely touted the tariffs his administration has imposed on nations around the world as a boon for the American economy, but the reality is far darker. The Farm Bureau has now put forth that according to available information, losses just for the state of Nebraska to the trade wars that those wide ranging tariffs sparked can be estimated at around $1 billion so far in 2018.
For their estimates, the Farm Bureau applied previously collected data from the Iowa State University to present economic conditions. Thanks to the retaliatory tariffs that other countries have imposed, Nebraska is estimated to have lost between $695 million and $1.026 billion so far in 2018. That’s a cut of at least ten percent to the value of Nebraska agriculture exports from 2017, and possibly up to a 16 percent slash.
Factoring in labor income losses, the range goes up to between $859 million and $1.2 billion.
Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe explained that to compensate for $1.2 billion in losses, every person in Nebraska would need to put forward $632.
As Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson explained:
‘Retaliatory tariffs make our U.S. products more expensive for international customers, meaning they buy less or buy from someplace else. This report provides a clear picture of how much we’ve lost due to those tariffs and the need to improve our trade relations.’
This week, the president has touted a mellowing of U.S. trade relations with China that’s in reality much shallower than he’s indicated. He’s claimed that a new day is on the horizon — thanks in no small part to his tariffs — when in reality, tariffs on exported American agricultural goods like soybeans remain very much in place and China has simply agreed, according to the White House, to purchase an unspecified amount of goods from across American industries — which could mean anything.
As American farmers continue to struggle — and lose over a billion dollars just in one state — Trump continues to hold fast to his line that tariffs are the way to go. Just this Tuesday, he asserted that if a more final deal doesn’t materialize during the 90 day cease fire he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to in their ongoing tariff back and forth, he’ll rush forward into more tariffs because he is a “Tariff Man.”
In the meantime, he’s continuing to face pressure to stop with the punitive meddling in the global economy from groups like the Farm Bureau itself. They call for actions including “approval of the agreement with Mexico and Canada that would replace NAFTA, joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiating free-trade agreements with Japan and the European Union, confronting China’s trade abuses with a multinational approach, and the elimination of the administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs.”
They’ve also endorsed the higher level organization “Farmers for Free Trade,” which has launched a “Tariffs Hurt The Heartland” campaign meant to bring awareness to the plight of American farmers under the Trump administration’s economic policy.
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