April 10, 2018

How Would A Trade War Impact Agriculture?

Like many around the world, the last few days I’ve watched a war of words escalate into the beginnings of what looks like a very real trade war between the United State and China. For all the news reports out there about how this will impact both sides, my big question has been how this will impact US farmers and agriculture because they are a critical part in our food system.

Worldwide economic implications of a trade war are far beyond my wheelhouse but the one thing I noticed in all the reading is that agriculture is in the crosshairs. Why? Well, some experts argue because by targeting agriculture that targets farmers who then target their local representatives who would then put pressure on the President. Whether or not that works remains to be seen.

However, because this presidency is so love him/hate him, and because so much of what is being written about a potential trade war is so negative, I actively searched out articles from Pro Trump writers to see what their thoughts were.

This article, in an agriculture journal, jumped out at me. It’s written by a farmer who actively says in the article that he voted for Trump. And yet he’s incredibly nervous about how a trade war will impact him and his livelihood.

If you’re looking for something a little longer and that goes into more depth, New Food Economy wrote an excellent article about the impact of tariffs on the food and agriculture industry. It’s well worth a read.

Whether or not you agree with the President (and this is not the venue to share your passionate thoughts one way or another), I suspect that many of us are pro-farmer. We know these folks, we work with these folks, and truthfully, we’re just barely upstream of these folks. Impacts to them will undoubtably become impacts to the rest of us in the food industry too.