CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump is pushing a plan that would help farmers hurt by his trade war and retaliatory tariffs.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports the plan is meant to deflect pain not just now, but in the coming year when farmers are planning their next crops and trying to get loans. Considering there are more than 75,000 farmers in Illinois alone, what happens to them could have ripple effects throughout the state’s economy and beyond.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Frost Advisory Along And North Of I-88
Soybean farmer Dave Kestel is bracing for what could be a financial hit at his Manhattan, Illinois farm. Most of his crop, yet to be harvested, is already under contract and the price is set. He says, however, that President Donald Trump’s trade wars and some retaliatory tariffs may hurt him financially.
“What I don’t have forward contracted, that could really take a hit. Right now we’re looking at beans that used to be $10 down to $8; that’s a twenty percent pay cut, basically,” Kestel said.
Kestel says it is a situation many farmers may find themselves in as this year’s growing season winds down.
“We’re certainly seeing that the advent of all of these tariffs is also contributing to a decline in prices and therefore farm profitability,” said Tricia Braid, a spokesperson for the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
Tricia Braid says if the wars continue, the future for farmers’ will be uncertain.READ MORE: Plan For High-Rise Development Has Some Oak Park Residents Fired Up
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $12 billion, short-term plan meant to buffer farmers’ financial strain. It will pay farmers of disrupted crops, like soybeans, corn, and wheat.
The government will buy surplus crops. The plan also establishes a program to develop new, export markets for the future.
President Trump touted the plan in Kansas Tuesday.
“The farmers will be the biggest beneficiary,” said President Trump.
Braid says farmers don’t want Trump’s plan to be a long-term solution.
“Farmers, over time, have continually indicated to organizations like ours that they don’t want to have government payments if they can avoid it. They’d rather have it come from the marketplace,” she said.MORE NEWS: ONLY ON 2: Mother Speaks After 7-Year-Old Griffith, Indiana Boy Was Run Over By Car; He Remains Hospitalized
Some congressional republicans are echoing those bail out, tariff concerns, saying if farmers struggle, it could mean bills won’t get paid, which is bad for the economy as a whole.