Trump Claims US Farmers Treated Unfairly Then Uses Strategies That Hurt Farmers

Trump claims US farmers are treated unfairly. So what does he do? Enters trade wars that hurt US farmers.

Time to Get Smart

The results of being "smart" are piling up.

US Rejects China's Offer

In weekend talks in Beijing, Chinese negotiators led by Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s economic envoy, presented a U.S. team headed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross a package that includes Chinese companies buying more U.S. soybeans, corn, natural gas, crude oil and coal, among other agricultural and energy products.

Chinese and U.S. officials estimated the value of the package at nearly $70 billion in the first year.

Trump said no. And as noted yesterday, Trade Talks With China End in Impasse and Threats from China.

Mexico Puts 20% Tariff on US Pork

Mexico will impose a 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork imports, two industry officials with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters on Monday, for the first time providing details of the country’s retaliatory measures to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Last year, Mexico imported nearly 650,000 tonnes of pork legs and shoulders worth an estimated $1.07 billion, according to government data.

Mexico Puts Tariffs on Pork, Apples, Potatoes, Cheese, Bourbon

Today, Mexico upped the ante with Tariffs on Pork, Apples, Potatoes, Cheese, Bourbon.


US manufacturers will pay more for steel and aluminum. Mexico will pay more for pork, apples, potatoes, cheese, and bourbon.

This is called winning.

Trudeau Urged to Strike Back

Trade war talk in Canada is equally amusing.

Canadian dairy farmers are concerned Trudeau will halt dairy tariffs and Canadian steel manufacturers want Trudeau to retaliate.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada branded as "troubling" and "worrisome" comments Trudeau made on NBC's Meet the Press that Canada was considering allowing U.S. dairy greater access to the Canadian market as part of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump, meanwhile, broadened his trade tirades on Twitter into agriculture, writing: "Canada has all sorts of trade barriers on our Agricultural products. Not acceptable!"

Trudeau also faced pressure Monday to speed up Canada's tariff retaliation on U.S. steel and aluminum imports, while it consults on imposing levies on other American consumer goods.

Everyone loses with these tit-for-tat retaliations.

Winning Smartly

Supposedly, it's "smart" when the other guy loses more than you do.

In reality, the only way to win, is to not play the game, no matter what the other guy does.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-25

jcneall is absolutely right. President Trump did not start the fire. Interesting that none of the unilateral free traders can explain why Chinese workers have benefitted under high tariffs, whereas US workers have suffered under low tariffs. When theory does not explain reality, then theory needs to be revised.


One of the biggest impediments to US growth and trade continues to be a lack of skilled workers. For the first time ever, there are more jobs sitting empty in the US then the number of unemployed. If these workers could be successfully trained to fill those empty jobs, the US economy would be growing faster and you would have a lower trade deficit and lower fiscal deficit. Yet, many on this site think instead that trade wars will somehow generate more jobs for those who are currently unemployed. Even if more jobs are magically created by a trade war (which of course is impossible), who will fill those jobs. Joe six-pack doesn’t have the skills needed to fill those jobs.


You need to do more reading. Mercedes sold 610,965 units of cars in China last year. Cadillac sold 175,000 in China. Are the Germans getting "tariff breaks" from China? Don't know but I doubt it. The reality is that demand dictates what gets sold and what doesn't. My guess is that to compete with countries that use very cheap labor US manufacturers will need to ramp up production via automation to the nth power. That will still all those blue collar workers unemployed. And if tariffs go high enough to protect US manufacturers that can't compete on pricing then a huge group of consumers will be priced out. So no trade wars don't work