Farmers, Economists See More Economic Pain From Trump’s Increased Tariffs


By Liam Niemeyer, Ohio Valley ReSource

WFPL News Louisville - May 10, 2019


Ohio Valley farmers say the latest tariff escalation between the Trump administration and China could continue to hurt their businesses, with many farmers already facing financial struggles. 


As Chinese officials visit Washington, D.C., for more trade talks, the Trump administration announced this week increased tariffs, planned to go into effect Friday, on $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, accusing the country of reneging on trade promises.


Chinese officials have already threatened to retaliate if Trump follows through. Chinese goods, ranging from pork products and soybeans to shampoo could see tariffs increase from the current 10 percent to 25 percent.


Hord Farms CEO Pat Hord raises livestock in north central Ohio. He said he was surprised when he first saw President Trump threaten this week on Twitter to raise tariffs.


“It was frustrating, because we were hoping we were going the other way,” Hord said. “We don’t mind helping in [trade], we just don’t want to bear a disproportionate load of the pain. And that’s what we feel has happened.”


Hord said he’s had to scale back on investing in his business because of the uncertainty with trade talks and doesn’t have a good idea when a trade deal will be struck with China.


A monthly Purdue University survey of U.S. farmers published Tuesday showed a dramatic decrease in confidence among farmers that a trade deal with China will be reached by July.


This tariff escalation comes amid already depressed farm commodity prices in the world market. Some Ohio Valley farmers are taking on more debt and restructuring loans to survive these low prices, and economists say tariffs have made a stressed economic situation even worse for farmers.


“Our farmers that are in a very tight bind here in the short term, and it’s going to be a challenge for some of them to hold on,” University of Kentucky Agriculture Economist Will Snell said. “Not only are farmers nervous, but certainly lenders are as well. Because we’ve had some cash flow and liquidity challenges over the past couple of years.”


Snell said Ohio Valley soybean farmers have been able to manage the impact of Chinese tariffs by finding other countries to sell to, but that those markets might not be available later on in 2019...


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Varney: China trade talks, tariffs 'the most important financial story of the year'


By Charles Creitz | Fox News

May 10, 2019


Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney said Friday on "Fox & Friends" that the trade talks between the Trump administration and President Xi Jinping's government in China is "the most important financial story of the year."


Varney, host of "My Take" on Fox Nation, said that the situation involves the "world's two biggest and most dynamic economies."


"It is, frankly, a standoff," Varney said. "The tariffs are in place, the Chinese say ... they may retaliate but we don't know how. Talks are progressing."


Chinese Vice Premier Liu He flew to Washington to engage in high level meetings in the District with members of Trump's team.


Varney said Trump has positioned himself as the "negotiator-in-chief" and is coming at the problem from a position of strength.


"I want to see President Trump in our negotiating chair and nobody else. That is what he does best," Varney said of the former New York City real estate mogul.


Varney agreed with Trump's past sentiments that China has taken advantage of the United States.


"Our market ... is huge, and they have exploited it. They've exported stuff to us year after year," he said, adding that the combination of quality and price point for Chinese goods in America is a positive thing.


Varney said that another big question is whether or not the "farm belt" will continue to support Trump as the tarriffs begin to affect agriculture...