Roger Johnson, the National Farmers Union president sounded like a man whose members are about to dump Trump if the trade war continues to drive them out of business.
Trump has a massive problem brewing with farmers. Watch Roger Johnson, the National Farmers Union president, explain how farmers might not be in business much longer if they vote for Trump. pic.twitter.com/K614fLvuYo
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 27, 2019
Johnson said on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, “farmers historically have tended to be Republican. They’re conservative. They’re independent. They, on the one hand, they don’t want government telling them what to do. On the other hand, they want government policies to be market-friendly. They want the government to be involved in negotiating trade agreements that work for them and in what we’re seeing is that the economy in agriculture is just in a lot of trouble right now and so at some point those sort of feelings about who you prefer, you also have to think about your economic future and I think at the end of the day more and more farmers are coming to understand that, listen, what this president is doing is harming our reputation and it’s literally going to take us decades to get some of these — we may never get some of these markets back. China used to be a top market. They’re number five last year for agriculture. We’ve lost over $20 billion worth of sales in China just agricultural sales so — there’s just a lot of stress here.”
When asked about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s comment about farmers just having to take the trade war pain, Johnson said, “Well, I think we’ve been accepting a lot of pain. We’ve been dealing with a lot of pain. At the end of the day, you know, when it’s time to vote, farmers are going to go to the polls just like every other American does and they’re going to think about a lot of different things but one of the things that they’re going to have to be thinking about this next year is are they still going to be in business the next year or the year after? Their financial circumstances are becoming very, very troubling right now.”
Trump has tried to pander to farmers. He has tried to buy them off with aid packages, but his trade war is putting them out of business. Farmers are being crushed by the tariffs, and if the trade war continues into the 2020 election many farmers will go out of business. Trump doesn’t understand what his tariffs are doing to farmers. He keeps operating under the belief that the Chinese have to make a deal when they don’t.
If this trade war continues, Democrats can run on ending the tariffs, and pick up enough votes in the farm community to swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Iowa may also be in play next year. Farmers are sending their warning that if it Trump or their livelihoods, they are going to dump Donald Trump in 2020.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association