Trumps Tariffs, Iowa Farmers And The Amazon Rain Forest Fires

Elections really do have consequences!

Do you think any of this would have happened had Hillary Clinton, the highest vote getter, become president?

Ohio farmer Christopher Gibbs discusses the effects of Trump trade policies on the Chris Hayes Show of Aug. 27th: (7 minutes)

A few minutes of simple cause and effect thinking easily leads people to understand what the real consequences of Donald Trump’s insane trade war on China may possibly end up being.

No doubt when The Chosen One (a name he picked for himself) instituted his trade war on China, he saw China quickly crumbling in a heap of humility begging for forgiveness from America. That is how it plays out in his fantasies. This is usually followed by crescendos of cheers from adoring audiences proclaiming The Chosen One the greatest ever.

Apparently no one in the administration or in his party in congress warned him that the Chinese were humans who could think and would possibly retaliate. Retaliate they did with a spear aimed right at America’s heartland. No doubt the administration assumed China could not survive without American farm products.

As many people do when they go to their regular store to buy groceries and find the prices have suddenly risen unexpectedly, the Chinese decided to shop around to see if they could get similar goods someplace else cheaper. So they went shopping for soybeans. Enter Brazil.

So Brazil has been growing and exporting soybeans for a long time. They may not have had enough beans for the Chinese at first, but by clearing some land and planting more and more acres of beans, they could eventually meet the demand.

“Clearing land” means burning down the Amazon rain forest. That is just what they did. From Huffpost: 

As unsold U.S. soybeans are stored in silos across the farm belt, Brazilian farmers and corporations scramble to satisfy the voracious Chinese market. The push to break new ground amid President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is putting increasing pressure on the Amazon rainforest and is likely linked to the region’s devastating fires, according to experts.

“There is concern that market pressures related to the disruptions in global trade contributed to the fires in the Amazon,” a spokesman for the industry group the U.S. Soybean Export Council said in an email to HuffPost.

Brazil is America’s biggest soybean competitor and has stepped up its production now that China has slashed its purchases of U.S. crops in retaliation for Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Soy shipments from Brazil jumped 27% from 2017 to 2018. Chinese imports from Brazil in the 12 months through April amounted to 71 million tons — nearly as much as China imported from the entire world in 2014, according to Bloomberg.

Amid increasing demands for farm products from China, Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has pledged to open up the 2 million-square-mile Amazon forest — including inside protected indigenous areas — to more farming and mining. He has jokingly referred to himself as “Captain Chainsaw.” Many suspect that raging fires in the region, which were largely unchecked for weeks, are part of a strategy to speed up that policy. The Amazon Environmental Research Institute has concluded that the recent increase in the number of fires in the Amazon is directly related to deliberate deforestation, the BBC reported.

So all the devastation and environmental concern that is being caused right now can be traced right back to The Chosen One. Don’t forget that the current and coming farm crisis that is almost sure to happen can be traced back to the same point. 

No doubt The Chosen One thought that once his trade war ended all would go back to the way it was before with China buying humongous amounts of soybeans from which American farmers would make good profits. But much like the shopper who goes to anther store when her regular store raised prices, she won’t go back to her old store and China will buy he beans elsewhere. 

We have spent nearly $30 billion to bail farmers out of a mess that Trump created all on his own and that his party has been backing. Trump has very probably made America into an unreliable trading partner in the eyes of other countries with the tariffs Trump has foisted on the world. For a party that screams “free trade” at the top of its lungs, they sure have a funny way of showing it.

Thus Trump and his party may well have damaged America’s trade for a long time to come.

Think very hard about this when you vote next year. Vote Trump in again and we will get many more policies conceived in ignorance and executed with only his ego in mind.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in #trumpresistance, 2020 election campaign, Trump and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Trumps Tariffs, Iowa Farmers And The Amazon Rain Forest Fires

  1. C.A. says:

    The Amazon rain forest very understandably gets all the press. But some of the increase in bean production in Brazil is also coming from the destruction of the Cerrado, an amazing large tropical savanna landscape that is a global treasure because it is so unusually rich in species diversity, as well as providing vital ecological services.

    However, the Brazilian government considers the Cerrado to have little value and is letting it be destroyed accordingly. Kind of like what happened to the tallgrass prairie that used to cover 85% of Iowa.

    The tallgrass praire is now a globally endangered ecosystem. And now, when it is almost gone, researchers are discovering what it did for flood control, soil health, water quality, biodiversity, etc. As the traditional saying goes, we grow too soon old and too late smart.


    • Dave Bradley says:

      thanks so much for adding that perspective –
      “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”


      • C.A. says:

        Thank you, Dave. I should add that some Iowan business interests are involved in the conversion of the Cerrado to commodity crops, and just because the Cerrado is not rain forest does not mean that what they are doing is environmentally benign.


Comments are closed.