Administration

Soybean growers’ leader: I may not support Trump again in 2020

The president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association said Wednesday that he may not vote for President Trump in 2020 if he doesn’t fix current trade disputes. 

“It’s not about the man or the party,” Michael Petefish said on CNN’s “CNN Newsroom.” “It’s about specific policies. We in agriculture are very supportive of trade, and this president has not been.”

{mosads}Asked by CNN host Poppy Harlow what that means in regards to the 2020 presidential election, Petefish said “the jury’s still out on that.”

“Timing is critical on this trade deal,” he added. “If, in three or five years we have a better trade agreement, that won’t matter to most farmers because we’re hurting financially now and we won’t have the ability to run our businesses in the red for the next several years.

“The trade needs to get fixed now.” 

The comments from Petefish come as the U.S. is involved in trade disputes with countries such as China and the European Union. Many agricultural groups have called on Trump to stop imposing tariffs because their products, such as pork and soybeans, are being targeted for retaliation by top U.S. trading partners.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it would offer about $12 billion in emergency relief to U.S. farmers, who have been hit hardest by the administration’s protracted trade battle.

But Petefish said that “$12 billion damage is just sort of scratching the surface of the economic impact.”

Petefish added that an argument could be made that the trade war has caused $12 billion worth of damage to soybean farmers alone. 

“What’s concerning is the future” Petefish said. “Are we going to keep pumping $12 billion into the farming economy? What we need is markets.”

Multiple GOP lawmakers have echoed Petefish’s concerns.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), for example, said on Tuesday that “America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose — they want to win by feeding the world.”

Tags 2020 election aid for farmers Ben Sasse Donald Trump soybeans trade warm Trump tariffs

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