Farmers share impact of trade war during Trump’s visit

PEOSTA, Iowa-- Several farmers turned out Thursday, July 26 to speak out against President Donald Trump's trade policies while the president was in Iowa.

They said the president's push for a trade war has hurt them.

“Any of his actions, not only his trade stuff but any of his actions dealing with rural America is not helping. It’s actually making it worse out here," said Chris Petersen, a hog farmer from Clear Lake, Iowa.

Petersen said the back and forth tariffs between the U.S. and other major economic powers are hurting farmers' bottom lines, raising prices on their products and making them less desirable.

He added that countries are turning elsewhere for their soybeans.

“So there’s going to be less demand on American soybeans," he said. "And because of that, supply and demand is going to push the price lower.”

The farmers who spoke Thursday emphasized that farmers were already struggling. One retired farmer said he has several friends who aren't sure their farms can survive this trade war.

President Trump announced a $12 billion aid package to help farmers weather the trade war.

“Okay farmers. Here’s your $12 billion in hush money," one farmer said during his speech. "Stay quiet until after the election.”

Petersen said the money is a band-aid for a problem Trump created.

"Farmers, over the years, have gotten used to band-aids," he said. "That’s all they seem to want to give us.”

One woman said Trump has harmed relationships with ally countries.

“I believe [the trade war has] already led to injuries among allies that will be very hard to undo," Patricia Grafton said.

Petersen said it won't be long before other Americans start to feel the pain of the trade war.

“I feel this is going to be ongoing and this gonna hurt way beyond farmers," he said.