Nevertheless, a large majority of farmers said they were willing to give Trump more time to work out trade deals, and believe that he will benefit their farms in the long-term, even if they're suffering in the short term, Abbot reports. The poll was done from July 20 through Aug. 2; Trump announced $12 billion in aid for farmers on July 24.
One reason so many farmers support Trump's trade policies may be that the Republican Party's attitude on trade has been shifting toward a more protectionist, anti-China stance over the past two decades (75 percent of the poll's respondents self-identified as Republican). The shift was triggered by China's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, which hurt the U.S. manufacturing industry even though it benefitted the U.S. economy overall, John Kuk, Deborah Seligsohn, and Jiakun Zhang report for The Washington Post.
And Republican politicians in hard-hit districts were more likely to blame China, not overall trade policy, for local woes in their posts, speeches and other communications with constituents. "Scapegoating China for the negative externalities of trade was convenient and let Republican legislators respond to voter concerns while continuing to support their party’s position on free trade," the Post reports.
|Negative impact of Chinese competition per worker by congressional district, 2000-07. A value of 3.89, for example, means the value of Chinese imports increased by $3,890 per worker over that period. (Washington Post map)|
But soybean growers may see some relief soon: German oilseeds analyst Oil World said this week that China may have to start buying some U.S. soybeans again because other countries can't supply enough to meet its needs, Reuters reports.