American farmer’s livelihoods are being threatened by Trump’s ongoing trade war with China.
For nearly a year, the Trump administration has been in talks with China on tariffs and possible trade agreements. Amid the talks, profits from soybeans, corn, and wheat have plummeted to their lowest since the ‘70s.
“Think they are one of the casualties of the trade disruption, yes,” U.S. Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue stated.
Farm bankruptcies are up 20% in the last year, the highest in almost a decade. Farmers have accumulated the highest loan default rate in the past nine years. The net income of farmers has also plunged by almost 50% since 2013.
Trump is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan.
“I don’t think he’ll come home with a deal, but I think he could come home with the beginning of let’s really get serious about negotiations,” said Perdue.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump vowed to confront and destroy “unfair” trade deals for farmers. In December 2018, a G-20 meeting was held in Argentina to strike a new trade deal, but was unsuccessful.
In May, Trump approved a $16 billion bailout package for farmers. The USDA is administering aid programs of up to $20 billion.