9NEWS reports on the less-then-enthusiastic response from Colorado farmers to emergency relief authorized by President Donald Trump to offset losses caused by new tariffs in place as Trump goes to economic war on major trading partners like China:
“To a producer that’s been impacted greatly by the tariff situation it’s really a band-aid,” said Kim Reddin, Colorado Corn Communications Director.
The President announced the emergency aid Tuesday morning. It is meant to help farmers across the country who are hit by foreign countries’ response to U.S. tariffs. The Colorado Corn Growers Association said in a statement that ‘producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trade practices and taken a disproportionate hit with illegal retaliatory tariffs.’
While Colorado Corn is thankful the administration is taking action, the group said farmers in our state need a long-term fix.
“Growers really want, not an aid package or assistance,” Reddin said. “What they’d really prefer is market driven demand where they can go to the marketplace and sell their crop.”
The issue of toughening American trade policies to reduce unfair competition and support domestic production of all kinds is more complicated than some of the other cleanly partisan issues under debate in this election year. The fact is that at least some of Trump’s protectionist moves against other nations like China have support from traditionally Democratic allies in organized labor. The Clinton-era embrace of globalized trade by the Democratic Party hasn’t been enough to destroy the coalition between the party and labor, but it hasn’t been good for it, either–and there are plenty of union Democrats who quietly wish it wasn’t a deplorable figure like Trump taking action to “protect American jobs.”
Here in Colorado, however, the situation is more easily clarified. Colorado exports large quantities of agricultural products, many directly affected by the retaliatory tariffs recently imposed by China and Mexico. Meat prices, as one example are set to plunge as warehouses fill with unexportable product. Much less exposed to tariffs on manufactured goods, the threat to Colorado’s economy from disruption of agricultural exports is quite significant–and politically, more damaging to rural areas traditionally loyal to Republicans.
In short, there’s much more political downside for the GOP in this trade war than upside here in Colorado.