Trump gambles with our livelihood

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 17, 2019

President Donald Trump’s game of one-upmanship in an ongoing trade war with China is a gamble at best, hoping for payoff down the road.

In the meantime, the gamble on that payoff comes at a costly expense, not only to Americans who will face increased costs on everyday items, but also to soybean farmers, as Chinese officials retaliate with tariffs of their own.

Last year Trump imposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China retaliated imposing tariffs on American goods imported into their country.

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That move took a toll on soybean farmers last year because China buys 30% of all soybeans produced each year in the United States.

Last week, Trump doubled down by increasing tariffs on Chinese imports, and China responded in kind by upping their own tariffs on American imports.

Soybean farmers are caught in the middle and face a repeat of last year’s heavy export costs and falling prices on their product.

Barrett Arthur, who has 12,000 acres of soybeans planted in Concordia Parish, said he understands why Trump has enacted the tariffs on China, but he hopes the trade dispute can be resolved before August’s harvest.

With more than 120,000 acres of soybeans planted this year in Concordia Parish, we all have a stake in the result of Trump’s gamble with China.

We urge Trump to consider how his actions will affect not only soybean farmers but also average Americans and to come up with a way to either resolve his trade war with China or a way to offset the burden he is placing on soybean farmers and citizens by the time the August soybean harvest comes around.