A local panel of Nebraska farmers and manufacturers met in Lincoln on Wednesday to discuss various issues. One of the issues that came up was Donald Trump’s trade war. As tariffs continue to hurt Midwestern farms and businesses, their opinions were not surprising:
Diane Temme Stinton, chief administrative officer at TMCO Inc., a contract manufacturer, said 25 percent tariffs on steel from several countries have led to an “environment of great instability in manufacturing.”
Quotes from suppliers that used to be good for weeks are now only good for 24 hours, she said, and the company is having to adjust to deal with rising costs.
Temme Stinton said the tariffs are benefiting an industry, steel production, that employs a little over 400,000 people in the U.S., while at the same time hurting manufacturers that use steel, which employ about 4.6 million people.
“In the manufacturing industry as a whole we are all losing,” said Temme Stinton, whose father, Roland Temme, founded the business in 1974. The metal manufacturing company has about 200 employees.
Bruce Bohrer, executive vice president and general counsel for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, said a large manufacturer in Lincoln, which he did not name, has seen its costs increase by $5 million since the steel tariffs went into effect.
“I’m definitely hearing from businesses (that are) concerned” about tariffs,” Bohrer said.
Don Hutchens, who led the Nebraska Corn Board for 27 years before retiring in 2014, said the state’s farmers are seeing a double-whammy from the president’s trade policies.
Tariffs instituted on China earlier this year led to retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. that targeted agricultural products such as soybeans, leading to lower prices. At the same time, farmers are faced with higher prices on steel needed to build grain bins, machine sheds and other buildings.
These very legitimate concerns about Trump’s tariffs have been in the news and on the minds of farmers and businesses in Nebraska for months.
So, what is Nebraska’s Republican Senator Deb Fischer doing about this?
Opening up new markets will help NE producers prosper and feed the world. I welcome the start of trade negotiations between our country and #Japan, #EU, & #UK. I’m optimistic @realDonaldTrump & the administration will make good deals for our ag producers and manufacturers.
— Senator Deb Fischer (@SenatorFischer) October 16, 2018
Deb Fischer, like many Republican Senators, continues to choose party over people. They are blindly supporting Donald Trump because he is a Republican, even when his policies are hurting the people and businesses in the states they are supposed to be representing.