First round of $12 billion “bailout” checks a cold comfort for Hoosier farmers who are still selling below the cost of production
INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier farmers and manufacturers are making clear that tariffs are becoming a top issue for them at the polls and warning that politicians like Rep. Braun will pay a price with traditional supporters in November if they continue to support harmful policies.
An Associated Press story Monday highlighted that while the first round of “bailout” checks are being distributed out of the $12 billion set aside by the Department of Treasury for farmers harmed by the tariffs, the money has done little to calm the agricultural community’s fears. Corn growers who successfully apply for grants will receive just a single penny per bushel, and at current prices, the subsidies still won’t get either corn or soybean farmers up to the cost of production.
The coming payments won’t change the fact that farmers have been “already feeling the impact of Trump’s trade war with China” for months as many in the agricultural community continue to speak out about the impact of the tariffs.
That may bring electoral consequences from the agricultural community for politicians like Rep. Braun who have failed to side with them, or claimed these new payments will be enough. “If these issues haven’t been resolved, there could be a change in the way farmers vote,” National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Skunes told the AP.
Rep. Braun isn’t helping matters by continuing to brush off the warnings of Hoosier farmers and manufacturers, calling their criticism of tariffs “overdramatized.” Last week, he went as far as to indicate that he’s fine with Hoosier farmers become collateral damage in a tariff fight, calling on them to accept the “short-term pain” that is threatening to bankrupt them.
“Farmers are making clear that if Rep. Braun continues to ignore their warnings about the crippling tariffs, he’ll have a steep price to pay at the ballot box,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Rep. Braun hasn’t offered even the slightest notion of support for Hoosier farmers who are gravely concerned about the very real impact tariffs are having in their daily lives. If he continues to champion proposals that are actively harming farmers, they certainly won’t forget come November.”