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Farmers confront Trump's ag secretary: 'We are not doing great again'

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Apparently, the metric shit-ton of manure Donald Trump spread over the Midwest while running for president has not materially improved the outlook for the region’s farmers. 

They’re worried, anxious, and increasingly pissed off, as Trump’s agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, learned today during a panel discussion at a fair in rural Minnesota.

And, more and more, they’re questioning Trump’s policy prescriptions, which recently prompted China to suspend all U.S. agricultural imports.


Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, drew applause as he leveled criticism of the administration’s trade policy at a forum with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in front of thousands of farmers gathered in a metal barn for a panel discussion.

Wertish criticized Trump’s “go-it-alone approach” and the trade dispute’s “devastating damage not only to rural communities.” He expressed fears Trump’s $28 billion in trade aid will undermine public support for federal farm subsidies, saying the assistance is already being pilloried “as a welfare program, as bailouts.”

Being from the Midwest myself, I feel genuinely sorry for these folks. Their stories of financial hardship in the wake of Trump’s tariff madness are truly heartbreaking. Then again, this is one of the clumsiest own goals in history. After all, they were instrumental in putting this ambulant sack of cow shit in the White House.

Others joined in. Brian Thalmann, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, complained about Trump statements that farmers are doing “great” again. “We are not starting to do great again,” he said. “We are starting to go down very quickly.”

Joel Schreurs of the American Soybean Association warned American producers are in danger of long-term losses in market share in China, the world’s largest importer of soybeans.

While farmers’ fortunes are going south faster than Trump’s gravity-complying neck skin, it may be too late to do much about it given the pr*sident’s intransigence/stupidity and China’s apparent willingness to play the long game.

Today, The Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) that China’s strategy has likely now shifted to simply waiting out Trump so they can deal with a new president on trade:

China’s leaders appear to have concluded that they won’t secure an acceptable trade deal with President Trump. What they can do is try to weather the next 18 months while inflicting maximum political damage—and hope a weakening U.S. economy delivers a new president.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to gaslight the people whose lives he’s fucking over on the daily, tweeting this yesterday in reference to the administration’s clearly inadequate farm relief payments:\

Hmm, maybe you should talk to the farmers yourself, Mr. Pr*sident. All they seem to have learned is you have no clue what you’re doing. Or, at the very least, they’re starting to get an inkling.

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