Just a short note in case you hadn’t heard. There has been some blowback from our bully president’s unilateral move to impose tariffs on Chinese products. The Chinese stood up to the bully. Not sure our bully was expecting that to happen.
Our bully took a swing at China and scored a blow. China swung back and scored a direct hit in the “midwestum econimum.” Specifically China hit the US right in the Iowa by banning the very products that undergird most of Iowa’s economy.
Now we come up on spring planting time and Iowa’s major customer is telling us that they will hike the price if we want to sell our products there. Corn, soybeans, pork and beef.
Much like the sanctions that we so often put on countries that don’t obey our orders these tariffs that China is threatening in retaliation will not hurt Mr. Trump, his family or employees. These tariffs will hurt everyday citizens, especially famers and small business people many of whom put their trust in Mr. Trump by giving him their votes in November 2016.
A somewhat ironic side note to this on going drama is that the ambassador to China is none other than Iowa’s former governor, Terry Branstad. Seems Branstad will have a ringside seat to watch the trade deals he worked so hard for go up in a puff of bullying.
In what used to be considered more normal times things like trade wars and impositions of tariffs were approached with extreme caution as something to be avoided or entered into skillfully. Those who used to do such negotiations are long gone as the administration ran out those with expertise and replaced them with sycophants – or not at all.
Now China could have imposed tariffs on some of our manufactured goods, but we don’t make a whole lot here anymore. Corporate policy has shifted much of their manufacturing overseas especially to China. So when China decided to retaliate, raw materials and ag products were about all they could target.
Corporate policy has no loyalty to any country, only to the lowest dollar cost, so they have been more than happy to move their manufacturing.
My suspicion is that the administration – mostly the president – will do some grand standing and make some bullying type statements, but in reality he has pretty well painted this country into a corner. In the end he will once again retreat and declare a victory. His party will no doubt hoot about winning, but reality will tell another tale.
And the corporate media will play the retreat as a victory, but I think Iowa farmers and farmers in many other states will realize that this administration is playing a game with their lives where they can lose big at any second.