|Some states (dark purple) received more in net farm subsidies than they lost from the trade war, but most states lost out. Map from The Conversation; click here for the interactive version.|
Farmers overwhelmingly supported President Trump in 2016, and most plan to do so again, despite the economic pain caused by the trade war with China and the pandemic. One big reason for that is record-high government subsidies, which have made up the highest single source of farmer income for the past two years running, Wendong Zhang and Minghao Li write for The Conversation. Both are assistant professors of economics, Zhang at Iowa State University and Li at New Mexico State University."Just as some states were hurt more by the trade war than others, not all states benefited equally from the payments. The subsidies heavily targeted the Midwest, reflecting the political influence of rural constituents in these states. Most of the states that came out ahead – such as Iowa and Nebraska – tend to vote Republican and have relatively large agricultural sectors."