Sunday, June 17, 2018

Bill Crawford: Mississippi Leaders Don't Stand Up to Trump

Trump tariffs and retaliatory tariffs are no big deal for Mississippi say key Republican leaders. "Everything will work out," is their mantra.

Meanwhile, Trump tariffs kicked in June 1st on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. Mexico imposed retaliatory tariffs on June 5th, Canada will on July 1st, and the EU will later in July. Trump also is moving to impose 25% tariffs on an array of China exports. China promised quick retaliation.

“I do not think there will be a trade war,” Sen. Roger Wicker told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, expressing confidence that "the end result will be better opportunities for Mississippi businesses, farmers and consumers.” Rep. Trent Kelly said, "Now is the time for patience and to let the president do his job and negotiate on behalf of the American people.” Gov. Phil Bryant said, "“President Trump puts American workers and businesses first, and his policies continue to bear that out,” pointing to Mississippi's low unemployment.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith showed some concern. She told the Meridian Star Trump tariffs could hurt the state in the short term, but believed Trump's efforts could be beneficial in the long term.

Business leaders aren't as sanguine about Trump tariffs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expressed concern that 2.6 million American jobs could be at risk. The defense industry expressed concern about increased costs for steel and aluminum and the impact on global supply chains and risks to exports. The U.S. Farm Bureau expressed serious concerns to Congressional committees.

Mississippians should be concerned too.

The Daily Journal reported $113 million in goods exported from Mississippi to Canada at risk from tariffs, adding those exports come from nearly 2,200 Mississippi-based companies about 77% of which were small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.

Mississippi's $1.1 billion dollar soybean industry would be affected by retaliatory tariffs. More than 110 million bushels were produced in the state in 2017 from 3,274 farms. About half are exported, mostly to China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico and Taiwan. In general, farmers worry that retaliatory tariffs will make the things they grow sell for less and steel and aluminum tariffs will make the things they buy cost more.

Mississippi’s growing tire and automobile sector is at risk from steel tariffs and retaliatory auto tariffs. Even Mississippi's emerging brewery industry would be impacted, according to Lucas Simmons, president of Lucky Town Brewing Company in Jackson.

Republican leaders from other states are standing up to Trump on tariffs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told fellow Kentuckians, as reported by CNN, "I hope we pull back from the brink here because these tariffs will not be good for the economy." House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, "I disagree with this decision." Others speaking out include House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sen. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

You'd think Mississippi Republican leaders would be standing up too, instead of timidly hoping Trump is just bluffing to gain trade concessions.

Bill Crawford ( is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Oh sure... let's just continue to allow Canada to have the 270% farm and daily tariff on all American goods as well as Germany having the auto tariff on all American cars. Also the jeans have a large tax in Europe. Trade deficits are beyond horrible. Free trade isn't fair trade. China has been screwing US for a long time. Ow on it.

Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is Bill, not only will they not stand up to President Trump on Trade, it appears they have also lost their moral compass. Who would think that good god fearing men would support much of the President's proposed Imagration Polices, much less separating familes.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Schumer is praising these tariffs, business and industry don't. Looks like the unions still have some influence.

Drama Alert! said...

Newsflash for poster at 8:50...If I commit a crime, I will be separated from my family, including my children. The separation could be overnight or it might be forty to life. And the jury will not give me an ankle bracelet simply because I have kids.

Anonymous said...

Why are some people bitching about Trump putting tariffs on other countries but do not mind the much larger tariffs other countries put on our products?
We never had a president who was a business man. The other presidents were just not smart enough to see how bad we were getting screwed.

Would everyone in all countries be satisfied if the tariffs were the same in all countries?

Anonymous said...

Trump is no conservative and neither are his supporters....unless you concede that conservatism is no longer about free markets and competition and individual liberty. Our GOP leaders are now about fear and blame and race baiting.

StarRider said...

9:07, well said. This is long overdue.

Anonymous said...

Cindy needs to go back to the farm. If that is all it takes to preside over the Senate, yes take a peek at CSPAN, just say'in!

Anonymous said...

Where were you while Obama was doing this. The photos floating around 2 weeks ago were from 2014. Obama policy. Need 10 democrats voted to change policy. No democrats so far have offered. Also these tariffs are huge with voters in the Midwest and Michigan. The new red states since Trump. All working class that won't vote for republicans if they have a country club pretty boy on ticket.

Anonymous said...

@8:40 demonstrates just how Trump takes advantage of uninformed voters. He puts one side out there, and with no competing source of information, his base swallows it whole.

The issue is that we subsidize the hell out of our farmers. Canada uses tariffs so that their industry can compete with our artificially low prices.

You're in Mississippi, find a farmer and ask them about government subsidies for soybeans.

Anonymous said...

There is no longer a party for people who hold Reagan's ideals of small government and liberty. The GOP is now a Trump cult of personality.

No, 9:04, that is not true at all. You will not be separated from your kids if you commit a misdemeanor. Illegal entry is a misdemeanor. In serious crimes, children are not separated from their parents until after a determination that a crime has been committed. Currently, people legally claiming asylum and others apprehended at the border are being separated from their children without any determination or adjudication. That is the problem.

Anonymous said...

9:46 isn't drinking the Kool Aid, thee rest of you disappoint, like 8:50 said how have we lost our moral core. If any past president Democrat or Republican had went to Canada and Singapore and made a complete fool of himself, real conservatives would have been in an uproar.

Anonymous said...

8:40 am We have a significant trade surplus with Canada.

Engaging in a trade war without allies is not a good plan and this President doesn't seem to think our allies are important .Canada is especially important , not just in trade, but also, because they have stood by us and they are literally next door. Geographical proximity matters and we anger both neighbors but anger the neighbor who has been nicest to us? How is that a good strategy?

Russia and North Korea and the Phillipines are not only unlikely to become allies at all as long as we are a free nation, but certainly won't be interested in siding with us in a trade war with China ( that proximity/dependency issue they understand). Great Britain has their own economic woes from their disaster exit from EU.

Further, economic health for a Nation can't be about one sector or special interest. A long range sound economic plan should also have future goals and not be attempting to save the "wagon wheel" sectors.

Isolationism and nationalism and populism have never, ever worked well in the long run. There's a difference between, maximizing national self-sufficiency and security versus the arrogance of pretending we can go it alone because we're better than anyone else.

After seeing President Trump's interview on Fox and Friends where he is asked why he likes Kim Jong Un, I have come to believe he does have an intended strategy. His serious demeanor did not change. He didn't smile or change his tone or body language when he said that he wanted our citizens to respond to him the way the North Koreans respond to their Dear Leader. This was Trump when he acts on what he says. And, if you add that to the comments of his supporters that we'd be better off with a strong, more permanent leader, every action our President and his most important supporters take, starts to becomes understandable and strategic.

We should all remember that in Russia and North Korea, survival is not about you being a party member or of the same race .Your religion certainly will no longer matter unless it becomes a threat. Nationalism and exceptionalism and being a " real Russian or North Korean" mattered to start and so did an " us vs them" attitude . What matters in the end is that you are useful but never a threat and you are devout in your praise and loyalty without misstep or your entire family could be in jeopardy. They are not free citizens in those countries, they are sycophants. And, while dear leaders can initially achieve, do remember that Caesar was great for the Empire until Nero.

Mankind repeats history because we focus on the victors and vanquished and not the conditions and early changes in the government of a society that allow a regime to rise to power. If we did, we'd make better decisions and pay more attention to actions rather than words.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it just amazing how folks can look the other way when the president tells lies about the policy separating these familes, by saying it is the result of current law, when it's a policy shift that he has complete control over.

Anonymous said...

... demonstrates just how Obama takes advantage of uninformed voters. He puts one side out there, and with no competing source of information, his base swallows it whole.

Anonymous said...

98% of the people bitching about Trump's position on trade and tariffs have absolutely no clue what tariffs are now being applied to American goods coming into other countries. In some countries, the tariffs are so exorbitant as to require a corporation to actually build a factory in a country in order to market products there. You people don't know these things.

All you know is you think you hate Trump and you believe conservatism and capitalism are evil and you don't know one from the other and think Trump is basing his business model on the evils of conservatism, which he is not. And another percentage of you (take a stab) actually believe Trump will take away your toys and lifestyle and make you work or change your neighborhood for the worse. Ignorance. Pure ignorance.

If you want to see job growth across this country, a sound economy, improved stock market, better retirement options let his plans roll out. As was said above, we have never had a businessman in this job. We've always had nothing but politicians.

If, however, you don't want those things, keep up your bitching and moaning.

Anonymous said...

People should understand that the tariff problems is not just a way to punish other countries, start a trade war, or any other of the crazy ideas.
It is simply giving the American people the same opportunities as other countries.
Why not make all tariffs equal in all countries. Whatever tariffs other countries put on U.S. products we put the same tariffs on their products.
Sounds equal to me. Make all countries buy an equal amount of products from our country that they send to our country.
There should not be any country that would not agree with that.

Anonymous said...


It’s called free trade. It’s what we enjoyed before Trump.

Anonymous said...

Do all the commenters trying to justify Trump’s actions as leveling the playing field and calling for equal tariffs not realize we had such a free trade agreement which was the called Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Anonymous said...

Hold on here now, we are just at about full employment. So how is this Trade War suppose to help?
After we Purge the country of all these illgeals, it's only going to get worst.

By the way India just retaliated today,I sure don't know that I use any products affected, but I bet I'll will.

Anonymous said...

You can’t complain about unequal tariffs when Trump has abandoned all efforts to negotiate those down by pulling out of TPP and threatening to do the same with NAFTA.. Also, you don’t get equal tariffs by raising tariffs and igniting a trade war. In fact, you get the opposite. By the way, this is Trade 101, and at no point in history has raising tariffs accomplished anything except economic stagnation. Check out the Smoot-Hawley tariff and how it worsened the Great Depression.

Anonymous said...

We don't stand up to our leaders. And seldom have until
It becomes a given. Many state leaders that we hold to be statesmen
supported some outrageous policies and laws. And we
name buildings after them. Sure, they were nice honest leaders but
advocated or supported unacceptable policy. The Vietnam conflict, invading Iraq,
Looting the tobacco settle money, not speaking out about funding for social security and
Medicare/Medicaid and not funding preschool for all children
are just a few.

Anonymous said...

President Trump is insisting on fair trade deals. Finally a President looking out for Americans.

Anonymous said...

I don’t want the damn government to protect my business, hinder my business or interfere with my business. The government, including the executive branch, needs to stay out of my business. Just leave me alone and I will do just fine.

Anonymous said...

Business is so good, it so hard to find workers, businessess are dropping Weed from their Drug Test.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:15 about smaller gov't. However, foreign governments are interfering with your business with tariffs and have done so for decades.

Anonymous said...

In Germany 8 years ago i had to pay a 25% tariff on jeans I ordered for the us. You guys need to look at the EU tariffs and our cars being used for tariffs in China and in Europe. German cars in the us only has a 2.5 percent tariff. Compared with 12.5%

Anonymous said...

India retaliated? Oh shit! Does this mean they're going to boycott all the U.S.customer service desks? That will be a death blow for sure....

Anonymous said...

Good to see at least half of JJ posters not jumping on the anti-Mexico, anti-Canada, anti-Asia, anti-Europe, anti-immigrant, fear mongering hate train. You see which posters are traditional, legit conservatives and which ones are Jim Crow holdouts.

I'll hand it to Trump, he took great lessons from the democrats. You just have to convince 51% of voters that they are victims. Today's conservatism is just another class of victim. Scared victims.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of much corn does the federal government require energy companies to burn up in the form of automobile gasoline?

Tell me that is not a subsidy to corn farmers to prop up corn prices? And our GOP Senators ALWAYS support it.

Anonymous said...

Trump suggested having no tariffs at all. So far nobody is taking him up on that.

Anonymous said...

Cindy Hyde-Smith should be speaking out against the tariffs which will completely destroy the Mississippi farm economy.

Anonymous said...

When the bottom falls out on chickens, eggs and soybeans, I want to revisit this subject.

Anonymous said...

Crawford is the typical HACK. Fails to mention the ridiculous tariffs placed on the US by our so-called trading partners, and when we say NOT FAIR well, Crawford says we are being unreasonable.

Anonymous said...

6:05 - Hyde-Smith is busy, at present, taking the low road and making snarky comments about McDaniel. Or rather allowing her milineal handlers to do it FOR her. She is of zero substance and only waits the next cue card to appear in front of her face.

"It all starts with education". Learn something about this woman!

Anonymous said...

As a member of the AFL-CIO, I approve of these tariffs. Trump is the most pro-union president since Jimmy Carter. Finally good to have a pro-union president again!

4 more years!

Anonymous said...

@ June 17, 2018 at 3:46 PM

" German cars in the us only has a 2.5 percent tariff. Compared with 12.5%"

You do know that Mercedes, Volkswagen, and BMW, are building cars over here?

@ June 18, 2018 at 7:47 AM

"As a member of the AFL-CIO, I approve of these tariffs. Trump is the most pro-union president since Jimmy Carter. Finally good to have a pro-union president again!"

Carter and Trump mentioned in the sentence is an oxymoron. Try again. There is no such thang as a pro-labor Republican. Not even Rockefeller. Republicans believe business owners drive the economy, not labor.

Anonymous said...

11:41 pm All you apparently know about tariffs is that you think you could sell for more or buy for less.

I would have supported a well thought out strategic plan to impose new tariffs on those countries with whom we have a trade imbalance . It should also be one that could be supported and strengthened by having our allies join us.

What is good for your business isn't necessarily good for the entire economy of our Nation.

Negotiating tariffs requires and understanding of the entire economy of the other country as well as your own. You don't react simply to special interest whining.

China proved that today by announcing strategic tariffs which will hurt us the most and targets Trump's base.

Please do explain how the tariffs Trump is proposing have any strategic value for us. Do you really expect to bring back the steel industry after so many years? Do you really think they are geared up and prepared to respond? Do you not know why they were vulnerable at the outset?

And, if you understood conflict resolution and diplomacy, you'd know " My way or the highway" is not negotiating. It's an attempt to bully and a bully can't succeed alone, he has to have others join in or else he's the one who ends up being bullied. Pres. Trump succeeded as a bully in business because he had people in place with the connections to carry out his threats and file those lawsuits and manipulate a system his father understood as well. Now, he's shooting from the hip without listening to anyone on a subject he doesn't understand. He has an undergraduate degree in business and it's not in economics. He knows real estate and marketing well enough. Unfortunately, he's not the CEO who understands that he's only as good as the people he hires and that he's not the expert in every area of his corporation.
And, our President should remember that even his reality show was casted, staged and edited by people who knew what they were doing. Surely, you know that about reality shows?

Anonymous said...

Trump is not much of a businessman. He has filed at least 5 bankruptcies and could not manage to make money even from a casino. His "businesses" were perpetually embroiled in litigation, mostly due to his refusing to pay what he legitimately owed creditors. By his son's own admission, his funding came from Russia because American banks would not do business with him. When Mueller finishes his investigation, we may learn that Trump has been laundering money for the Russian mob. Where are his tax returns and why won't he release them? Good thing Mr. Mueller can and probably has subpoenaed them.

Anonymous said...

Tariffs are about as pro unions as it gets folks.

Anonymous said...

“His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn't earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. [He] worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done." - Joseph Heller, Catch 22.

Anonymous said...

All you apparently know

you think you could

I would have

It should also be

What is good for ... isn't necessarily good

You don't react simply

Please do explain

Do you really expect

Do you really think

And, if you understood ... you'd know

Surely, you know that

Anonymous said...

If an election were held tomorrow Trump would carry Mississippi. Just as he will in 2020.

Anonymous said...

8:52 is blind as a goose and dumb as an ass. One does not subpoena any records of a sitting president. And you're pretty foolish to suggest Trump is not a businessman. But kudos for properly reciting last Thursday's talking points from Rachel Maddow. Next?

Anonymous said...

I agree @ 10:09 and Mississippi will still be at the bottom...

lol @ the jim crow hold out comment....

If Social Security is not going to be there when we retire, can they stop taking it out of our check release what has been paid in and let us invest or save it as we see fit???


Conservative Values has devolved into Rob and Steal from the middle-class and poor and give tax cuts to the rich...

Anonymous said...

10:46 - There is ample legal authority to subpoena documents from sitting presidents - check out Clinton v. Paula Jones and the subpoenaed Richard Nixon tape recordings from the Watergate investigation. You're punchy from drinking your ignorant Jim Jones Kool-Aid.


Anonymous said...

@ June 18, 2018 at 10:46 AM

"One does not subpoena any records of a sitting president."

I hope you know that 12:09pm was right?

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