Tariffs Threaten Wisconsin Farmers

Wisconsin’s 11,000 soybean farmers, with seed already in the ground, are facing an uncertain future. The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB), has called on its members to contact their elected representatives and speak out on behalf of the role free trade has in the $740 million a year Wisconsin industry [1, 2].

  • According WSMB, 65% of Wisconsin’s production is for export trade. [3]
  • China is the top market for U.S. soybeans, accounting for $14 billion in sales, 61% of total exports and nearly 1/3 of total U.S. soybean production in 2017. [4]
  • Tariffs come at a time when soybeans are already hovering at a 10 year low [5]

Governor Walker did break with the President in March saying,

“With this in mind, I respectfully ask the President and his administration to reconsider their position on these tariffs.” [6]

As well as, during a speaking tour that same month which included several major manufactures around the state impacted by the tariffs. [7] Nevertheless, three months later, with retaliatory tariffs threatening Wisconsin’s farmers and manufacturers, the issue seems to be water under the bridge for Gov. Walker and President Trump. Both enjoyed a round a patting each other on the back during the ground breaking at Foxconn. [8] I wonder if Gov. Walker’s ‘break’ with the President was a genuine effort to support Wisconsin workers or instead was a political move in the face of an upcoming election.

[1] https://badgerbean.com/resources/wsmb-urges-members-concerned-with-china-tariffs-to-speak-up-now/

[2] https://www.wisagclassroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Wisconsin-Farm-Facts-2017_web.pdf

[3] http://wisoybean.org/services/soybean-facts/

[4] https://asapodpolicy.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/trade-not-tariffs/

[5] https://www.nasdaq.com/markets/soybean.aspx?timeframe=10y

[6] http://thehill.com/policy/finance/376481-walker-trump-should-reconsider-planned-tariffs-on-aluminum

[7] http://www.wbay.com/content/news/In-Oshkosh-Walker-criticizes-President-Trumps-tariff-proposal-476024423.html

[8] https://www.wpr.org/trump-comes-wisconsin-foxconn-groundbreaking-walker-protesters-tow

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