Tag: trade war
Trump Blasted From All Sides For Urging 'Suicide' Trade War Against China

Trump Blasted From All Sides For Urging 'Suicide' Trade War Against China

In a just-posted campaign video, Donald Trump promises to impose massive tariffs on goods from China, which would tremendously increase the cost of living for American consumers.

The video is part of what their campaign is calling “Trump 47,” designed to paint the ex-president as having policies. He was quickly mocked.

It begins with Trump attacking President Joe Biden, claiming he is pushing a “globalist agenda.”

“I will implement a bold series of reforms to completely eliminate dependence on China,” Trump says, phasing out imports from China including electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals.

Trump also promises to “ease in a system of universal baseline tariffs on most foreign products. On top of this, higher tariffs will increase incrementally depending on how much individual foreign countries devalue their currency.”

Demonstrating hat he still does not underhand how tariffs work, Trump claims his plan will bring “trillions and trillions of dollars pouring into the United States treasury from foreign countries.”

Attorney Ron Filipkowski, a former Republican, says: “Trump announces if elected that he will start a global trade war by implementing a mercantilist system. He will raise tariffs on ‘most foreign products,’ phase out all imports from China in 4 years, and punish US companies who do business and invest in China.”

In the full video posted to his Truth Social platform Trump falsely claims that when he was President “China paid to the United States hundreds of billions of dollars and no other president got ten cents, legitimately, ten cents.”

Trump was quickly mocked.

“Poor Trump doesn’t realize the GOP base has long since moved past trade and now sees Disney cartoons and unintelligible acronyms like CRT and ESG as their real enemies,” saidThe Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

“Bring back Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression!” tweeted economist Paul Hughes-Cromwick.

Politico food and agriculture reporter Meredith Lee Hill notes, “this Trump proposal would also trigger new and painful retaliation against US agricultural exports to China (our biggest market), just as American farmers are trying to recover from Trump’s last trade war w/ Beijing.”

Hill also writes that “one farm state GOP lawmaker [said] to me on Trump’s new China trade proposals + the impact on US agricultural exports that rely on China: ‘it’s f—ing suicide’.” She adds that another said: “‘Rushing forward w/ political slogans’ cld seriously harm US biz + ag. We need to ‘strategically decouple’ not this.”

Journalist Robert Lusetich reminds that when Trump was in office “he had a bank account in China.”

Watch a short clip below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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Trump Comes Up $10 Billion Short On Farm Trade Relief

Donald Trump promised back in January that American farmers would benefit greatly from his highly touted trade deal with China. Now, reports show that promise may be difficult to keep.

As of May, China had purchased just $5.4 billion worth of U.S. agricultural product, despite a goal of at least $33 billion by the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

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american farmers

Farmer Suicides Rising In Wake Of Trump’s Trade War

Donald Trump's trade war with China contributed to a spike in farmer suicides across the Midwest in recent years, according to an investigation by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

On Monday, USA Today reported that more than 450 farmers killed themselves between 2014 and 2018. However, investigators cautioned that the true number is likely higher because several states did not share complete data with the investigative team.

More than 150 of the suicides were committed during 2017 and 2018.

"We like to identify something as the cause," Ted Matthews, a psychologist who works with Minnesota farm families, told USA Today. "Right now, they talk about commodity prices being the cause, and it's definitely a cause, but it is not the only one by any stretch."

The investigation found several key factors that contributed to the suicide crisis, including the drop in commodity prices since 2012, as well as increased farmer debt, bad weather that prevented planting, and a severe drop in exports to China "amid festering trade tensions."

Trump often complained about U.S. trade policies when running for office, and started taking some actions in 2017 in an attempt to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China. In March 2018, Trump officially announced $50 billion in tariffs against China, setting off an extended trade war between the two countries.

Since Trump's trade war began, farmer bankruptcies in the Midwest have been on the rise. Bankruptcies for Midwest farmers increased by 19 percent in 2018 compared to the year before, according to the Farm Bureau. In 2019, Midwest farmers saw bankruptcies increase by another 17 percent compared to 2018.

Across the country, the Farm Bureau reported a 20 percent increase in farm bankruptcies in 2019 compared to 2018.

Wisconsin, famous for its dairy products, saw a loss of 10 percent of its dairy farms in 2019, the largest decline in state history.

Trump has "undermined our health care system at every turn, directly impacting farmers' ability to get the mental health services they need," Philip Shulman, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, said in a Monday email.

Experts told the USA Today that "devastating economic events" are not solely responsible for suicides, but such events "can be the last straw for a person already suffering from depression or under long-term stress."

"Trump pursued reckless trade policies that caused Wisconsin farm bankruptcies to spike and exacerbated the financial strain on farming families across the country," Maddie McComb, spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, said in an email this week. "Instead of obsessively tweeting, trying to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and lying to farmers about unfulfilled trade deals, Trump should focus on finding real solutions to this growing crisis."

In 2018, Farm Aid, a nonprofit group focused on helping farmers, saw a spike in calls to its crisis hotline, spokesperson Jennifer Fahy said in an email. The hotline worked with 1,034 farmers that year, and another 864 farmers in 2019.

"Farm Aid stresses that while the trade wars have further damaged farmers, there is no one cause of this farm crisis," Fahy said about the recent spike in suicides. "The long term answer is not continued federal payouts to farmers, but a shift in farm policy to deliver fair prices and reward farmers for practices that increase farm resiliency and mitigate climate change."

The Trump administration has spent twice as much to bail out farmers hurt by its trade policies ($28 billion) as the Obama administration spent to rescue the auto industry during the Great Recession ($12 billion).

In addition to Farm Aid, many farmers have said that the bailouts are not enough.

"This [bailout] was supposed to make sure farmers were not the victims of this trade policy," Jim Mulhern, president of the National Milk Producers Federation, told the New York Times in November 2018. "I think most agriculture producers feel that the payments have not come close to making up for the damage for the tariffs."

In December 2019, the Trump administration announced a Phase I trade deal with China meant to bring an end to the trade war, but many farmers are skeptical that it will be sufficient. Trump announced China would soon purchase $50 billion worth of American agricultural products per year, despite the fact that the U.S. has never exported more than $26 billion in agricultural exports to China in a single year.

"I think it's a lot of false promises again," Bob Kuylen, a wheat and sunflower farmer who also and raises cattle in North Dakota, told the Associated Press in December.

Farmers looking for assistance can Farm Aid's hotline at 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). And anyone can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) for free help and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This story has been updated to include additional comment from the Democratic National Committee.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

New Report Shows How Americans Pay For Trump’s Trade War

New Report Shows How Americans Pay For Trump’s Trade War

Farmers have been filing for bankruptcy at record rates, economic growth is stalled, and manufacturing is in a recession — all contrary to Donald Trump’s promises that he would return the economy to four percent growth and be the “greatest jobs president God ever created.”

Now a United Nations report released Tuesday “finds implicit evidence that the cost of the tariffs has been generally passed down to United States consumers.”

“US consumers are paying for the tariffs,” said Alessandro Nicita, an economist at the U.N.’s trade agency, “in terms of higher prices.”

The report only analyzed the first six months of 2019 and does not include Trump’s September tariffs. Economists from University College London and the London School of Economics expect the new wave of tariffs to cost middle-income American families almost $500 a year, as electronics like washing machines and televisions — as well as basic foods, like pork, cheese, and beer — all become more expensive.

CNBC reported in May that the cost of Trump’s trade war with countries like China and Canada is “equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades.”

Trump first started his trade war with China in April of last year, when he levied tariffs on Chinese products like shoes, airplane parts, and batteries. He also put a tax on foreign steel and aluminum. The Chinese government responded in kind, imposing its own tax on American goods, especially machinery, electronics, and agricultural produce.

Trump has claimed that his trade war would lead to more jobs for Americans and make the U.S. richer at China’s expense, but that hasn’t happened.

And China’s retaliation has hurt American farmers in particular, who have lost billions because of falling Chinese demand.

“Trump is ruining our markets,” Bob Kuylen, a North Dakota farmer, told CNBC in August. “No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more.”

“There’s no incentive to keep farming, except that I’ve invested everything I have in farming, and it’s hard to walk away,” he said.

Factory workers have fared poorly too.

Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Industries Trump promised in 2016 to revitalize — such as automobiles, steel, coal, and mining — have faced downsizing, bankruptcy, and closure. Manufacturing’s tough times, which now qualify as a recession, are largely due to Trump’s trade war.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told NPR that Trump’s trade war is a key contributor to the slowing U.S. economy, which is now growing half as quickly as Trump promised on the campaign trail.

“Businesses don’t know where to place their bets and don’t know where to invest when they don’t know where the next tariffs are going to come from,” she said. “That’s been one of the biggest weights on the U.S. economy.”

Published with permission of The American Independent.

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