By: Anthony Scaramucci
North Dakota farmers know manure when they smell it — and that’s exactly what they’re getting from the scaremongers who say President Trump’s counter-tariffs will damage their industry irreparably.
The President’s recent agreement with EU President Jean-Claude Juncker to work towards zero tariffs — which included a promise by the EU to buy more U.S. soybeans — proves that North Dakota farmers have nothing to fear in the Trump economy.
Enemies of the America First agenda have been working overtime to frighten farmers and turn them against the President’s economic policies. Critics have particularly sown seeds of despair among soy farmers after the crop was hit with a 25 percent retaliatory tariff from China.
In early July, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp said soy farmer’s livelihoods were “at risk” because of an “unnecessary trade war,” and questioned why the Trump administration didn’t have any plans to support farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs. Boy, was she wrong.
To the trade elitists who continue to claim that President Trump’s tariffs will cause economic ruin, it’s worth noting that the recent hit to the soy industry is only tangentially related to the President's economic approach.
A recent report by financial services group ING found that the impact of retaliatory Chinese tariffs is already priced into soybeans and that they should have little long term effect, if any, on the soybean market. The report noted that last year U.S. exports made up 39 percent of Chinese soybean imports — suggesting that China’s tariff on U.S. soybeans is unsustainable in their own market. It also noted that soy “exports started falling behind last season prior to the escalation in the trade spat.”
As for Heitkamp’s concern that the administration had no plan to help farmers, last week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the USDA is authorizing $12 billion for three programs designed to aid agricultural producers who may be affected negatively by foreign retaliatory tariffs.
The aid programs include a Market Facilitation Program, which will provide payments to farmers to help them deal with market disruptions, a Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which will purchase surplus commodities and distribute them to places like food banks, and a Trade Promotion Program that will seek to develop new markets for export.
Of course, after complaining that President Trump wasn’t offering a solution for farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs, Heitkamp complained about the President’s solution once it was announced. “At the end of the day, farmers don’t want a check, they want a market,” she said in an interview with The Hill last week.
The very next day, President Trump announced his agreement with EU President Juncker to work towards zero tariffs and the EU’s commitment to significantly increase the amount of US soybeans they purchase. Ask Trump for a market and ye shall receive, Senator.
The scaremongers trying to convince America’s farmers that the sky is about to fall on their heads either don’t understand what the President is doing or don’t want farmers to understand what the President is doing.
President Trump’s tariffs are a temporary tool designed to combat long standing tarrifs on U.S. products, and there is every reason to think they’ll continue working. If politicians like Heitkamp really believe farmers will get left behind in the Trump economy, it’s only because they lack the vision to see ahead. They want farmers to be okay with a stagnant economy of managed decline — an economy in which they have no other choice but to rely on China in order to survive.
President Trump is changing that, and the future is brighter for all of us — farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers alike. The ones trying to peddle fear can continue playing in the muck while North Dakota’s farmers reap the benefits of the new Trump economy.
Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) is the founder of the global investment firm Skybridge Capital and served in the Trump administration as White House communications director.