Trump Lies About Helping Farmers Who Are Struggling More Than Ever
May 1, 2020
Trump is lying that he’s helped farmers. In reality, farmers are struggling more than ever before, and were struggling even before his failed coronavirus response because of his reckless trade policies and false promises about increased purchases.
LIE: Trump falsely claimed this morning that he has done more for farmers than any president in history.
TRUMP: “I have done more for farmers and ranchers than any President in history, and it has been my honor in doing so!”
REALITY: Farm debt hit an all-time high last year and bankruptcies spiked thanks to Trump’s reckless trade policies.
TIME: “Farm debt, at $416 billion, is at an all-time high. More than half of all farmers have lost money every year since 2013, and lost more than $1,644 this year. Farm loan delinquencies are rising.”
Reuters: “U.S. farm bankruptcy rates jumped 20% in 2019 – to an eight-year high – as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data.”
REALITY: Trump’s own Department of Agriculture said that it expected farm debt in 2020 to rise to a record $425 billion.
Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday said it expects farm debt in 2020 to rise to a record $425 billion, up from $415 billion last year. The debt-to-asset ratio for farms remains at its highest point in more than 15 years, the USDA said, and farm bankruptcies jumped 24% last year.”
REALITY: Trump made false promises about increased ag purchases from China that have still not happened and are extremely unlikely to.
South China Morning Post: “China’s purchases of Brazilian soybeans hit a record 11.6 million tonnes in March, while purchases of American beans remained low, with just 12.6 million tonnes ordered so far for the entire year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That is slightly below the 12.9 million tonnes ordered at the same time last year, when trade tensions were high. In contrast, two years ago – before the start of the trade war – China had ordered nearly 30 million tonnes of US beans by April 2018.”
Washington Post: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief economist, Robert Johansson, projected that agricultural exports to China would reach roughly $14 billion in the year that ends Sept. 30, a $4 billion increase from one year ago. But that amount would still fall far short of what White House officials said would take place based on the recently announced ‘Phase One’ trade deal with Chinese leaders. White House officials have said agricultural exports to China would be between $40 billion and $50 billion in each of the next two years.”
REALITY: Small farms are increasingly threatened with extinction as Trump’s coronavirus bailout money mostly goes to big farms.
CBS News: “Some farmers affected by the pandemic shutdown were already hurting. They lost their export market to China in retaliation for trade war tariffs and then watched most of the U.S. trade payments go to the largest farms. Lesley Stahl reports from America’s heartland where the small farmer is increasingly threatened with extinction, Sunday on 60 Minutes. Big farms are getting most of the $28 billion bailout money, in some cases by exploiting rules the administration adopted from past congressional farm bills. The Agriculture Department’s Trade Relief Program was conducted without Congress.”