Pollster: Americans think farming is 'integral' to national security

Pollster Emily Ekins said Thursday that she thinks Americans view agriculture as an essential part of national security. 

"People think of farmers as being integral to national security," Ekins, who is the director of polling at the libertarian Cato Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

"I think part of it is, what if other countries stop trading with us, and we're overly reliant on food from those other countries?" she continued. "I think they're afraid that we're not going to be able to import the food that we need, so we need to grow it from home." 

"I think that's a very mercantilist view," Ekins continued. "It's a flawed economic theory that we have to produce everything at home that we need, and that has been disproven."

"Trade is very important to economic growth for everybody at all income levels, but I think that's part of what people think about when they think about farmers," Ekins said. "They want to make sure that we have some food grown at home, even if it requires some subsidies."

Ekins remarks came in response to an announcement from the Trump administration last month that it would offer $12 billion in aid to farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs from U.S. trade partners on U.S. exports.

The tariffs from trade partners came in response to Trump's tariffs on imported aluminum, steel and Chinese goods earlier this year. 

— Julia Manchester