President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and other nations have caused farmer bankruptcy filings to skyrocket to the highest level in a decade, The Wall Street Journal reports.
According to bankruptcy filings reviewed by the outlet, farmer bankruptcies in the midwest have nearly doubled from their totals ten years ago.
In the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes states like Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, farm bankruptcies have increased by a whopping 96 percent from 2008 to 2018.
In the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, farm bankruptcy rates have fully doubled since 2008.
The Journal pointed to shrinking commodity prices and retaliatory tariffs from countries like China and Mexico as a cause for the increased bankruptcies.
Trump decided against policy that would help farmers:
“The new 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) treaty last year slashed tariffs — but not for U.S. farmers since the Trump administration pulled out of negotiations,” HuffPost reported. “That drove customers to farmers and ranchers in competitive countries, like Australia, serving another dunning blow to American operations. Farmers fear it will take years to rebuild those trading relationships.”
Trump spending more on farmer bailouts than US is getting from tariffs:
Trump has bragged that the United States Treasury is bringing in billions in tariff dollars because of his policies. “Billions of Dollars are pouring into the coffers of the U.S.A.,” he tweeted last month, “because of the Tariffs being charged to China.”
The tariffs are not charged to China but rather importers who then pass the costs on to consumers.
More so, The Council on Foreign Relations found that the Trump administration is spending 115% of the total it earned from increased tariffs to bail out farmers hit hard by his policies.
According to their analysis, American firms will have paid an extra $8.4 billion on tariffs on imports from China in 2018 but has already committed to giving farmers more than $9 billion in relief funds.