By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) While Democrats and their media allies continue to claim that President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is harming American farmers as well as consumers, the data continue to pile up indicating just the opposite.
In fact, according to the latest data from the Department of Agriculture, American farm income is set to hit a recordÂ high this year, thanks inÂ largeÂ part to the tariffs the president has placed on Chinese imports. What’s more, profits are only set to rise, the department says.
CNN and some of the network newscasters will always be able to find a farmer who is willing to say his ‘gamble’ on voting for the president didn’t pay off, but the numbers don’t lie: The Department of AgricultureÂ forecastsÂ that American net farm income will hit a five-year high of $88 billion in 2019 due to ChinaÂ trade warÂ payments,Â The Epoch Times reports:
TheÂ USDAâ€™s Economic Research Service projects that net farm income for the 2019 Fiscal Year (Oct.-Sept.) will hit $88 billion, up $4 billion, or 4.8 percent, from FY 2018. By the end of the year, the USDA expects net farm income to reach $88.8 billion.
Interestingly, it should be noted that farm income fell steadily during the eight years of President Obama, thanks in large part to the fact that his administration couldn’t get anywhere with the Chinese when it came to trade negotiations.
When President Trump took office in January 2017,Â The Epoch Times noted, net farm income had tanked to $61.5 billion in FY2016, which was the worst showing since 2006.
George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures notes that the Obama administration attempted a series of â€œfailed negotiations aimed at establishing a more equitable trade relationship” with China.
However, despite filingÂ 15Â World Trade Organization enforcement challenges against Beijing, USDA adjustmentÂ paymentsÂ to farmers and ranchers â€œimpacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffsâ€ only amounted to $13 billion in 2016.
In short, using the acclaimed globalist system with its international institutions didn’t get the Obama administration anywhere. China continued to do what it used to do best: Outsmart and outmaneuver American trade negotiators because there weren’t any real consequences to their actions. International decisions, like the one against China and in favor of the Philippines over Beijing’s outsized territorial claims the South China Sea in 2014, are meaningless because they are unenforceable and don’t come with any serious pushback.
Trump, with his aggressive tariff regime, however, has changed the dynamic. There areÂ real economic consequences for China’s actions on trade, theft of intellectual property, export of dangerous drugs like fentanyl, and aggressive maneuvering in the South China Sea.
When President Trump took office, China’s exports to the U.S. equaled 4 percent of the country’s GDP; U.S. exports to China, meanwhile, amounted to only a half-percent of our gross domestic product.
From his earliest days on the campaign trail, Trump noted that China enjoyed virtually free access to the U.S. market but never reciprocated, and he vowed to reverse that equation.
So, when the Chinese refused to open up their market to more U.S. imports, especially highly competitive farm products, Trump fired off the first shots in the trad war in 2018 that have since led to retaliatory, and escalating, tariffs.
The Chinese are getting the worst of it.
We reported in March that Chinese farmers were already pressing their government for more subsidies because they were losing out to more efficient U.S. farm products.
TheÂ South China Morning PostÂ added that Chinese farmers are appealing to Beijing for subsidies to offset losses from losing out to American farm products, which they say are produced far more efficiently and at lower cost, something they canâ€™t compete with
But China backed off importing more American farm products when Trump upped his tariffs and widened the product scope. It didn’t matter:
The USDAâ€™sÂ biggest tariff adjustment program is theÂ Market Facilitation Program that provides cash assistance to farmers and ranchers with â€œcommodities directly impacted by unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs.â€ Under the program, the Trump administration has been able to make payments to farmers and ranchers that range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of Chinese trade tariff retaliations at the county level.
With the U.S.-China trade war in full swing, U.S. government FY 2019 direct farm and ranch payments are forecast to hit $19.5 billion through September, and $20.3 billion by December. Payments could have been higher, but agricultural insurance company reimbursements for the record Mid-West floods offset most of this yearâ€™s $14.9 billion in lower U.S. crop and meat production.
As a result of the impact of tariff adjustment payments for Americaâ€™s 2.04 million farms, the number of farm and ranch bankruptcy last year fell to 498 from 501 in 2017,Â accordingÂ to U.S. federal court records.Â
And now, the USDA is forecasting farm profits next year will be up 25 percent over 2016.
Who gets all of this? Who understands? American farmers. As we noted last month:
A day after Wall Street suffered one of its biggest one-day drops over fears of a â€˜recession,â€™ critics of President Donald Trumpâ€™s tariffs on Chinese goods claimed they are responsible for wrecking the U.S. economy, as evidenced by the marketâ€™s performance.
One group that is consistently held up by both Democrat and Republican critics of the U.S.-China trade war as coming up on the short end of the deal is American farmers: They are suffering massive losses and are on the brink of bankruptcy. This perception has been fed by carefully timed stories in the establishment media, which also has a huge grudge against this president.
But a new survey by Iowa State University found that the vast majority of farmers support the presidentâ€™s China tariffs,Â One American News NetworkÂ reported:
According to the study, nearly 60-percent of respondents in those states expressed support for the ongoing trade war, while 14-percent had neutral feelings on the matter.
This comes after Beijing announced earlier this month it would be suspending purchases of all U.S. agricultural farm products in response to the Trump administrationâ€™s recent round of tariffs targeting $300 billion in Chinese imports.
It’s become fashionable among the president’s most vociferous critics to label him a doofus and an idiot when it comes to things like trade, foreign policy, and negotiations. And yet, it’s this president — not an Ivy League former lawyer or governor — who has brought the Chinese trade imbalance to the brink of becoming an endangered species, if not extinct outright.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said it best last month when he defended President Trump’s tariff regime and trade war.
â€œWell, I think the President knows that if you surrender to Chinaâ€™s cheating, it would devastate our economy and the world economy over time,â€ Graham told host Neil Cavuto.
â€œSo the price to standing up to China, I think, is a lot less than just giving into China. The tariffs are a tool. Nobody likes this policy, but I donâ€™t see how you make China change their behavior until there is a consequence to what they are doing. Thatâ€™s why we have the tariffs,â€Â he added.
Seems that when it comes to doing business abroad, it’s best to have a billionaire businessman as president.
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