Letter to the Editor - Unanticipated consequences



Dear Editor,

Every week I read another column in The Mountain Echo from Rep. Jason Smith. Every week he keeps telling us how great Donald Trump is. We already hear how great Trump is every day from Trump! Jason Smith, please tell us what you have done to improve lives in the 8th District.

His last column states Trump made the right call that the United States would not participate in the Paris Accord agreement...because “We shouldn’t have to choose between a strong economy and reducing carbon emissions,” Smith says, “What we will not do, at least under President Trump’s leadership, is sign unfair international agreements that allow bad actors to take advantage of our country.”

Well what about the tariff deal? Last week amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, newly proposed tariffs sparked fresh market volatility and nervous anticipation of the U.S. economy.

Across Missouri, anxiety is especially high among farmers, who stand to bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs proposed by China. Many farmers in Missouri and my homestate of Illinois say that 2018 was unlike any year in memory.

Dozens of farm products - from soy beans, pork, beef, cotton, dairy to produce - are dealing with headwinds from new policies and fallout is also affecting businesses that sell agricultural products and equipment. It’s inflicting deep cuts across the rural economies as farm incomes approach their lowest levels in a decade. Ripple effects continue to reverberate throughout rural Missouri - a cruel fate, given the overwhelming rural support for Trump and Jason Smith in the 2016 election.

Rep. Smith can keep talking about how wonderful trump and his policies are, but Sen. Roy Blunt warned Trump to back off his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and his concerns came true. Blunt said his fears of retaliation had borne out after China announced it was imposing taxes on a variety of U.S. products in response to Trump’s decision to ratchet up talk of more tariffs.

Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters in Jefferson  City a year ago, “I don’t think we’re headed to the right place on trade policy.”

For once, I agree with Roy Blunt. He raised red flags at that time and since then, trade tensions have escalated.

“A trade war always has unanticipated consequences and is harder to get out of than it is to get into,” Blunt said.

At this time, it looks pretty hard on the soybean farmers of Missouri.

Ironically, US agriculture is not running a trade deficit. So, it makes it really difficult whenever farmers are the ones doing their part for a positive balance of trade and then taking a hit like they are. That’s really messed up!

Roxann Parker

Iron County