Ag Today July 17, 2018

As Cost of Trade War Grows, Farmers Stick With Trump—for Now

By Alan Bjerga and Mario Parker, Bloomberg
July 17, 2018, 1:00 AM PDT

President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China, Mexico and Canada are already eroding the value of American agricultural production, with soybean growers alone expected to lose at least $3.2 billion during the next crop season.

But many farmers — including some whose incomes are plunging as exports stall — are sticking by the man they helped vote into office. They’d just like him to win the trade war quickly, before the fall harvest starts compounding the problem in a couple of months — when congressional midterm elections also will be heating up.

“President Trump is a businessman,” said John King III, 57, who raises soybeans, corn and rice with his father and nephew outside Helena, Arkansas, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Little Rock. “He’s making a high-risk business decision that probably should have been made a long time ago. But it’s definitely a risk.”

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