Senator Durbin weighs in on tariff policy affecting farmers

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says he’s worried about the effects of President Trump’s tariff policy. This comes after Durbin met with the Illinois Corn Growers Association on Wednesday.

The escalating trade war with China coupled with an already hard season on Tri-State crops due to weather, is a one-two punch for the farmer.

"The corn has already been impacted by the drought and we’re going to have low prices," said Blake Roderick, Executive Director of Pike and Scott County Farm Bureaus. "We’re going to have lower yields in some places and lower prices."

When asked about the tariffs, Durbin says the farmers are the first casualty in the trade war.

"They’re more worried about their long term reputation as reliable suppliers to countries like China," said Durbin.

According to CNBC, soybean future prices having plunged more than 15 percent since China said it would levy 25 percent tariffs on more than 100 US products.

"There’s no end in sight," said Durbin. "Unfortunately, for these farmers, this year’s crop is going to suffer. We’ve got a lot at stake when it comes to the Illinois economy. Our jobs and companies that are in the export business are going to lose opportunities so we are going to lose jobs from that industry."

Right now, it’s a waiting game as the future of the tariffs and farmer’s livelihood is unknown. 

"We’ve spent too much time building up these markets and we’re losing some of the momentum that we’ve had in building these markets," said Roderick.

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