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Letters to the Editor

Are the trade wars just more ‘sport’ for Trump?

Eleven million U.S. workers are in the crosshairs of the trade wars. More tariff wars mean more loss and pain for us, especially farmers in Jasper County where I live.

It is no secret our rural areas that voted for Trump are suffering extensively due to his on-going trade wars. In a recent report using data from the Brookings Institution, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, Axios developed a map which presented in various shades of pink to red the concentration of people negatively affected by the tariffs.

The deepest red areas have already suffered from budget cuts, hospital closures and school consolidations. They are also generally lower in population, so when the tariffs affect one industry, say corn or bean farming, the impact is negative on the whole county. Viewing the data for Jasper County, we are shown as medium pink in color on the U.S. map. Click Jasper County and we see there is one industry affected by the tariffs that is 12 times more concentrated in our county than the national average, and that industry is corn farming.

Sen. Ernst acknowledges “farmers are losing patience,” while Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says farmers feel they are being used as “pawns in this whole business.” Just this week we heard the president explain away his tax losses as “sport” in gaming the tax system. As to the trade wars, he says he is in no hurry to resolve the tariffs. Is this just more sport to him?

Meanwhile, in our farming publications we are reading of increased stress on our farmers, particularly mental health, with an increase of suicides and financially, with an increase of bankruptcies. “Sport” to this president couldn’t be any further from the truth of our situation out here in rural Iowa.

This is no sporting matter, time is not on our side; rather it is a matter of survival on the farm. There is absolutely nothing sporting about it. Absolutely nothing.

Bev Clark

Baxter

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