As America’s trade war heats up, our nation’s producers have the most to lose. The latest offer from Washington – a bailout for American farmers – misses the mark. The Watertown Daily Times quotes Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska on why that’s the wrong move:
“I don’t find any farmers or ranchers in Nebraska who say what we want is more bailouts, what we want is more welfare. What they want is more markets,” he said during a National Public Radio interview broadcast Wednesday. “I mean, at the risk of hyperbole, I literally live on the most productive land in the history of the world. And Nebraska grows far more food than we could ever conceivably consume. So we need export markets. And these people, they don’t want welfare. They want to work. And they win when there’s more trade. And right now, we’re headed toward less trade.”
Some context as to why this offer isn’t the best fix for the damage the tariffs have caused:
Offering an agricultural bailout makes no sense. If the president understands that farmers will be hurt in the exchange, then the best move is to not to impose the tariffs. Businesses can’t survive on government handouts, so keeping the markets flowing is what’s required for them to thrive.
We obviously need to deal firmly with nations like China that have hurt our economy, and there are times when tariffs should be used. But international trade more often than not benefits all parties involved.