Inside the White House with D.C.'s most wired reporter. Sign up for Mike Allen's Axios AM.

Stories

Trump reassures soybean farmers as they brace for trade war

President Trump reassured his farm voters in a pair of Wednesday tweets from Brussels, saying he is "fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"

"I am in Brussels, but always thinking about our farmers. Soy beans fell 50% from 2012 to my election. Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open ... things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!"
— President Trump

Why it matters: Economists predict that soybean farmers are going to be among those hit hardest by China's retaliatory tariffs in Trump's trade war.

Between the lines: Trump's right that the price of soybeans has been steadily falling since 2012. But inviting Chinese retaliation against soybeans is inciting fear among farmers who rely on China's massive market — which bought a third of American soybeans last year.

  • China is aware of the sensitive political impact of retaliating against soybean farmers. Soybean-producing counties voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016.

Be smart: China has a huge demand for U.S. soybeans — both for cooking oil and as animal feed — and won't be able to bolster its growing capabilities or find a new supplier anytime soon.

More stories loading.