Sunday, July 29, 2018

Bill Crawford: GOP Candidates Quiet on Tariffs

Agriculture is a huge part of Mississippi's economy and soybeans are a major export.

The tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump, particularly on China, have resulted in retaliatory tariffs impacting U.S. exports, including soybeans.

"Tariffs are the greatest," Trump recently tweeted. But when farmers and farm state politicians started complaining, Trump suddenly came up with a scheme to provide a temporary $12 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his tariff policies.

Mississippi exported $109.7 million in soybeans in 2017 – all to China, according to information from USDA as reported by Mississippi Today. As a result of China's retaliatory tariffs, soybean prices recently hit a nine-year low, costing farmers hundreds of dollars per acre. Now, Mississippi soybean farmers hurt by Trump's policies can get one-time payments from Trump’s bailout to offset these losses.

The bailout is not as popular as the President hoped.

"Lawmakers of both parties called it welfare, a bailout and other derogatory terms," read a USA Today editorial. "Eighteen months into office, Trump has turned productive farmers into supplicants, pushed government deep into the business of picking winners and losers, and shamelessly politicized the process of spending taxpayer money."

"This is becoming more and more like a Soviet-type of economy here: Commissars deciding who's going to be granted waivers, commissars in the administration figuring out how they're going to sprinkle around benefits," Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson told "I'm very exasperated. This is serious."

Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse called the scheme a bailout "with gold crutches." Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker called it "welfare" and "incoherent." Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican said, “ this doesn't solve any of the problems agriculture's got right now."

There wasn't a lot of positive hoopla from soybean farmers either.

"While soybean growers appreciate the Administration’s recognition that tariffs have caused reduced exports and lower prices, the announced plan provides only short-term assistance," the American Soybean Association said in a statement. "ASA continues to call for a longer-term strategy to alleviate mounting soybean surpluses and continued low prices, including a plan to remove the harmful tariffs."

Farmers and others fear this is just temporary relief to get past the November elections.

"On a conference call with reporters Tuesday, administration officials said they expect the infusion of money to be a one-time shot that will not extend into next year," an NBC News analysis reported. "Read another way, that means $12 billion for farmers in an election year — and nothing once they’ve voted."

Republican debt hawks have another problem. Much of the $12 billion bailout will be borrowed from the U.S. Treasury using emergency powers Congress granted to the Commodity Credit Corp.

The total national debt, which he promised to eliminate in eight years, topped $21 trillion in March and is soaring upward under Trump. The Congressional Budget Office now projects annual deficits will exceed WWII levels relative to GDP.

No Mississippi Republican politician running for election this November was among those criticizing Trump's tariffs or the bailout. Instead, they are all-in for Trump. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that is not congruent with being all-in for Mississippi.

Crawford ( is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

All China and other countries have to do is agree to fair trade. America is not the worlds piggy bank. Make America Great Again.

Anonymous said...

Of course they are silent. They are scared of trump. Same reason they don’t speak up about him paying off sex partners. Nobody wants to suffer the rate of a trump tweet. In other words, they have no balls

Anonymous said...

We won't hear from Hyde-Smythe on this issue since Bryant has not told her how or if tariffs might affect farmers and that's because he has no clue. And she can't ask Cochran since he doesn't remember the difference in a riding cultivator and a box lunch.

Anonymous said...

If another country has tariffs on any product produced in the U.S. we should have an equal tariff on any product produced in their country.
If any country does or charge any tariff on products made in the U.S. we should not charge any tariffs on products made in their country.
Some people may be hurt in the short run but in the end it will make the U.S. stronger.

Anonymous said...

I see it very wrong when a product from India can only be charged a 2% tariff due to infair trade restrictions and some companies such as Harley Davidson have to pay a 100% tariff when shipping their products to India. If this goes on with that country how much is being charged by other countries....the ones we bail out and protect..... the ones we educate and give our knowledge to from our colleges and universities. But, when you look at the overall picture no other country is able to be like America! MAGA!!!

Unknown said...

Soy Bean Farmers have been hit harder by bridge closers and infrastructure decay than by a tariff. So why is it all the Demo-Repub's getting upset over a soybean farmer getting a bail out when the same politicians had no problem bailing out the auto, banking, and most every industry under the Sun just 10 years ago?

Anonymous said...

No trumptard wants to talk about what amounts to a tax increase on every single American. Lies and stupid nicknames are what sells the billionaires’ plan to the voting idiots.

Anonymous said...

I think most R's would agree with me that tariffs don't work and we weren't happy that Trump campaigned for them. But it's possible that he had to do that to win rust belt states. The good news about tariffs is that when you get down to it, no one cares if you break that promise. Just create jobs. He can break his promises about tariffs if he creates jobs. As for what he is doing about that so far, I'm not worried. I think almost everything he says with regard to foreign policy is the start of a negotiation. He can proposed all sorts of tariffs and use them for leverage and in the end all the tariffs go away. Anyone who thinks that what he has done about this to date is his long term plan has not been paying attention to how he works. I am much more concerned about him being soft on immigration. Seems like he want to give up too much on that.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest you study each and every case. We have subsidized dairy for 60 years(taxpayer paid or deficit added) which brought tariffs like Canada's. We wiped out 80% of their dairy farmers. The large farm cooperatives and corporations get most of these subsidies. We also wiped out 80% of our own small dairies. Canada did not want to become totally dairy dependent on the US.
Ever heard of a company called Amazon. This will just create new middle men profits and the goods will be stamped with their country of origin. It already occurs today. Some say government will manage that violation. I think that is wishful thinking. Russia has been getting around that for decades paying "consulting and speaking fees" to the right people.
Tariffs passed on to consumers but collected by governments are the shell game and trade is about as easy as health care as long as you don't care who pays, who permanently loses their market and who has everything to gain but nothing to lose except a couple of informed voters.
We subsidize corn(primarily for the gas industry ethanol), soy beans, wheat, pork, beef, solar and wind energy, coal(dirty fuel which increases health care cost and is a dying industry and employees half the employees it did years ago due to reduced demand and large earth moving and processing equipment.

Anonymous said...

O.k. some of you up here get it and some of you don't

Tariff's are bad because no one is buying your stuff and we are being charged extra for items we are used to buying.

The $12 billion dollar bailout is borrowed money, and who can co-sign that is beyond me, when we it only adds to the deficit.

Would you rather farmers sell their goods to survive or get a hand out from the federal government? It's really that simple!

We are steaming along to another financial crisis. This administration is replicating the fiscal policies from the Bush/Cheney playbook. Cut taxes, increase spending, cut regulations giving the economy a false sense of security. The shrinking middle class and working poor will foot the bill when it crashes. The tax cuts for the wealthiest in Mississippi will last longer, the tax cuts for the wealthy passed by the feds will stick around longer as well.

40% of American citizens make under $25,000 a year. That's 132 million people that can barely afford to get an apartment or a car.

The cost of rent is increasing astronomically across the board. Right here in our own backyard, you have 2 bedrooms apartments in Rankin County going for $1000 a month.

The per capita annual income in Mississippi is $20,670. These tariffs will not benefit the people in this income group.

So for anyone that blindly supports these tariffs, clearly are not seeing the whole picture.

otisfyfe said...

"The per capita annual income in Mississippi is $20,670."

That citation is as meaningless as the use of averages. You do realize it's a meaningless figure, don't you? I hope you know the figure is derived by dividing and area's total income by its population - which means the number of children and other non workers in the area determine the product of the equation, regardless of the income of the workers. And you probably thought it meant 'workers, on average, in Mississippi, make just over $20,000 per year. And you vote!

A man with his head in a 400 degree oven and his feet in a pan of ice water, is, on average, quite comfortable.

Anonymous said...

@ Dee Ray

and I bet you think the property values in Madison, Mississippi are higher than the property values in Beverly Hills, California too?

Keep telling yourself it's only raining while these politicians are pissing on you.

Anonymous said...

Some folks like golden showers...

Anonymous said...

The lastest from major brokage houses is that a market correction is around the corner, the irony is that The President's tariffs probably have little to do with it. Yet He has tied the recent success of the markets to his presidency, when he tries to run from the downside he will lose what little creditbility he has.

Anonymous said...

The tariffs are one of the largest tax increases in American history. Trump voters will be the ones hurt the most - farmers who will lose their land, blue collar and elderly who will be paying 20% to 25% more in the grocery store, soccer moms who will pass on buying a new mini van because they cannot afford the $5 to $10,000 Trump tax on autos, and on down the line. Even the Koch bros are bailing on Trump and pointing out that he will cause a recession or even another great depression.

Anonymous said...

I keep waiting for someone to give me an example of a trade war without bad consequences.

Anonymous said...

"Keep telling yourself it's only raining while these politicians are pissing on you.July 30, 2018 at 8:02 AM"

Don't leave us now. You were going to tell us the value of knowing the per capita income in Mississippi? Or were you?

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