Heartburn in the heartland

According to Successful Farming Magazine, one in seven farmers who voted for President Trump in 2016 would not vote for him today, according to a poll released in early August. The escalating trade war was the leading cause of erosion for Trump among a staunchly Republican group. But a majority still back him: 60 per cent would vote for him now vs. 75 per cent in 2016.


 “Trade seems to be the sticking point for the president’s wavering supporters, because most farmers give Trump high marks in other areas,” said the pollster Farm Futures based in Illinois. “Growers overwhelmingly support the president on regulatory relief and immigration, but two-thirds agreed with the statement: President Trump has not done enough to support the biofuels industry.”


In the heartland of the mid-west, farm groups have fought the administration’s proposals to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard. They are also concerned about export losses as a result of withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA. 


Because exports account for 20 per cent of farm income, American farmers are hit in the pocketbook during trade disruptions. Only eight per cent of the 924 farmers polled from July 20 to August 2 supported the president’s statement:  Trade wars are good and easy to win.


The issue of foreign trade has surged into first place as the prime concern of farmers prior to the U.S. mid-term elections. The president’s $12 billion aid package, designed to offset export losses, does not appear to have quelled worries. Most farmers would argue that trade is preferable to aid. 


For more details on the poll, go to: https://bit.ly/2Bm9EsS

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Publish date: 
Friday, August 17, 2018

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