New York, Aug 14 (AFP/APP):Caught in the middle of a trade war and hammered by massive spring floods, American farmers are facing a tough year and worry about their future, yet some still trust President Donald Trump.
The situation worsened last week when Beijing halted purchases of US farm crops in retaliation for Trump’s vow to put tariffs on Chinese imports.
It’s “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the Farm Bureau, the country’s largest agricultural association.
“Now we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018,” he said in a statement, noting that exports had already dropped dramatically from the $19.5 billion sent to China in 2017.
Trump’s Democratic rivals in next year’s presidential election have seized on the trade war, with former vice president Joe Biden saying the dispute “is going to cause a lot (of people) to go bankrupt” during a stop last week in Iowa, an agricultural state that backed the president in the 2016 election.
Trump shrugged off the criticism on Tuesday, saying the blame for the hardship lies with the Chinese.
“They’ve said they’re going to buy farm products. So far, they’ve disappointed me with the truth,” he said.