Trump's tariffs have cost nothing but economic pain in Wisconsin and we've gained no advantages.
Now Trump has announced more tariffs, and once again, the people of Wisconsin and our economy will pay a painful price.
In 2019, 818 farmers in Wisconsin quit, were forced out of business or committed suicide, in part due to Trump’s tariffs. That averages over 2 farmers per day and was 10% of the total farms in Wisconsin.
In 2019, Wisconsinites paid over $830 million in additional taxes — $84 million in October alone-due to Trump’s tariffs on China.
In 2019 Wisconsin cranberry sales to China dropped 45% due to Trump's tariffs, hurting Wisconsin's economy.
On Thursday, Trump’s announced that he is renewing a 10 percent tariff on Canadian aluminum, which will be a huge blow to Wisconsin’s beer industry.
“These (additional) tariffs will also disproportionately harm Wisconsin’s storied beer industry, which is already facing weakened demand due to a national shortage of aluminum cans and a stagnant economy,” according to U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin.
A 2019 Beer Institute study found that the beer industry affects 62,856 jobs in Wisconsin, and the industry contributes $9 billion annually to the state.
More than 50 percent of U.S. aluminum is imported from Canada, and more than half of the beer produced in America annually is packaged in aluminum cans or bottles.
Wisconsin had long been a global trade winner, exporting as much to foreign countries as it imported. Wisconsin, in fact, was the only Midwestern states without a sizable trade deficit.
Wisconsin combines a strong manufacturing economy that tends to specialize in higher-end products — rather than basic goods like steel — that aren’t easily duplicated, plus a robust agriculture sector that is a huge exporter of cheese.
Yet under Trump's trade wars, Wisconsin has now become a “stone cold loser” as Trump might put it.
U.S. Census statistics on exports and imports show the state’s trade deficit has grown to $5.5 billion In 2017 and $8.2 billion in 2018. That’s a stunning transformation from being a trade winner in just two years of Trump's trade wars.
What happened to ginseng in just one example.
For decades ginseng had been a remarkable success story for Wisconsin, with more than 95 percent of U.S. ginseng exports made in Marathon County and sold to China.
However, Trump's trade wars “sent ginseng prices plunging from nearly $50 per pound of cultivated ginseng to closer to $20 per pound.”
Two years of Trump's trade wars with China has left the ginseng industry with a production cost that exceeds market prices. Workers are being laid off and recovery for the industry on the whole may not come earlier than 2021, if then.
The devastation of the ginseng industry is just one example of how Trump’s tariff wars have hurt the Wisconsin economy.
China is the world’s largest importer of pork products, which was great for Wisconsin producers, but there’s now a 72 percent tariff on pork sales in China, as Keri Retallick, executive vice president of the Wisconsin Pork Association, reported. And that has been killing pork exporters.
Wisconsin is also the largest U.S. producer of cranberries, which saw a sharp decline in exports to China, the story noted.
In January, Trump touted a new agreement with China where the Chinese agreed to purchase more American manufacturing and farming goods and more U.S.-produced natural gas and oil, but that’s unlikely to happen during the current economic downtown.
Meanwhile, the agreement did nothing about the main issue with China trade: About two-thirds of Chinese goods will still face import taxes that are six times higher than when Trump took office and China, too, will keep its own tariffs on U.S. exports.
So we gained nothing for all this economic pain.
Trump’s tariffs have cost Americans — businesses, farmers and consumers— $42 billion since the trade war began in February 2018 through October 2019.
The cost for Wisconsin was $830 million.
And this was before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the national and global economies.
Wisconsin can't afford 4 more years of Trump trade wars.