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Farmer Patience on Tariffs Comes With Caution Flag for Trump

Posted March 08, 2019

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues


(Kevin Freking – Associated Press)

Iowa hog farmer Howard Hill is feeling the pinch from President Donald Trump’s get-tough trade policies — his pigs are selling for less than it costs to raise them. It’s a hit that Hill is willing to take for now, but his understanding also comes with a caution flag for the president.

“We have patience, but we don’t have unlimited patience,” says Hill, who raises about 7,000 hogs a year near the central Iowa town of Cambridge.

The president’s willingness to pick trade fights with multiple trading partners at once has set off volleys of retaliatory tariffs, driving down the price of pork, corn and soybeans in political bellwether Iowa and elsewhere, and contributing to a 12 percent drop in net farm income nationally last year.

At issue are trade talks with China over intellectual property theft and a new U.S. deal with Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA that is awaiting congressional approval. Those efforts could take months to complete. Click here to read more.

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