Trump’s trade war inflicts casualties on friendly forces

Donald J. Trump keeps insisting that the United States hasn’t declared a trade war against China.

Except that we have.

Here’s the bad news for those who supported Trump’s “America First” political mantra in 2016. The trade war is going to hurt them. It will hurt them bigly.

The Texas Tribune reports that Texas agriculture is being cost in the trade war crossfire between Washington and Beijing.

I lived in the heart of Texas Cotton Country until just a few weeks ago. I am saddened to read what might happen to cotton growers in the Panhandle.

As the Tribune reports: President Donald Trump — and by extension many of the nation’s farmers — is seeing that lesson in action after he launched a bevy of tariffs against China on Friday, prompting the People’s Republic to retaliate with its own tariffs on imports from the United States. Among those American goods are some key Texas exports, including cotton, corn and sorghum. Some of the Chinese goods targeted in Trump’s tariffs are vital parts for Texas’ agriculture industry, such as livestock equipment.

“No question, it’s going to hurt,” said Gene Hall, a spokesperson for the Texas Farm Bureau.

They harvest a lot of cotton and corn in the Panhandle, much of which goes to China. More from the Texas Tribune: Cotton is the state’s 10th largest export. Nearly half of the U.S. cotton exported to China comes from Texas. Soy is a smaller market for Texas, but China is the state’s largest international soy customer. Texas exports about $157 million worth of corn a year, making it the 13th largest exporter of the crop in the country, though U.S. corn exports to China have dropped precipitously over the past few years due to increased regulations on the Chinese side.

Read the entire Texas Tribune story here.

And, yes, I hasten to add that many of the farmers who now are going to suffer from the trade war collateral damage supported Trump’s election in 2016. They rallied to his “America first” rhetoric, apparently not anticipating that a trade war would ensue that would have a direct impact on their ability to make a living.

The 26 counties that comprise the Texas Panhandle voted roughly 80 percent for Trump in 2016. I am wondering at this moment how many of those who live off the land are going to regret their vote for the guy who vowed to “make America great again.”

Leave a Reply