|Deutsche Bank Securities chart shows that peak soybean exports last year were half those of 2017.|
Though President Trump initially said Friday that the tariffs won't hurt American consumers, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said later that American and Chinese consumers and businesses will be affected. But of all Americans, Trump's voter base among agricultural interests has been hit hardest by the trade war.
"Of the top 10 states most affected by tariffs, all but two of them, Washington and Oregon, voted for Trump in the last election," Patti Domm reports for CNBC. The top 10 states hit hardest by tariffs as a percentage of state gross domestic product are, in order of most to least affected: Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina, Alabama, Washington, Kentucky, Oregon, Mississippi, Michigan, and West Virginia. Louisiana is the nation's top exporter of soybeans.
Later on Friday, Trump said in a series of tweets that the government would try to ease farmers' pain by buying their crops: "We will buy agricultural products from our Great Farmers, in larger amounts than China ever did, and ship it to poor & starving countries in the form of humanitarian assistance." However, experts said that won't work, because the farm sectors most hurt by tariffs sell corn and soy meant for animal feed, oils, ethanol, and other products, Jessie Higgins reports for UPI.
"It's not as easy as people might think to buy a bunch of commodities and ship them somewhere," Todd Hubbs, a clinical assistant professor of agricultural commodity markets at the University of Illinois, told Higgins. "This is not sweet corn. People don't eat it. It's high in starch and low in sugars and it doesn't taste good."