Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board highlighted the impact of President Trump’s “ill-advised” trade war, noting that it “continues to inflict a heavy local toll” on Missouri’s economy. President Trump’s tariffs have Missouri pork and soybean producers reeling, one of southeast Missouri’s largest employers on the brink of closing, and Harley-Davidson moving its production overseas to “more business friendly climes abroad.” In addition, the editorial board writes, “Trump’s administration has worked to undermine the health care system and social-services network that helps working-class families survive.”
Both Senators McCaskill and Blunt have spoken out against the President’s reckless tariffs. Last week, McCaskill traveled to Mid Continent Nail Corporation — one of southeast Missouri’s largest employers that could soon be forced out of business thanks to Trump’s tariffs — to speak with employees about the impact of Trump’s tariffs on local jobs. Meanwhile, Josh Hawley continues to support President Trump’s trade war.
President Donald Trump’s ill-advised trade war with Europe, Mexico, Canada and China continues to inflict a heavy local toll. Pork producers and soybean farmers are reeling under counter-tariffs imposed by China. A Poplar Bluff nail factory warns it is on “the brink of extinction.” Now the all-American brand, Harley-Davidson, is having to move to more business-friendly climes abroad.
Harley-Davidson has long planned to close its Kansas City production plant to make way for overseas production in Thailand. That decision followed Trump’s announcement shortly after taking office in 2017 that he would withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
…A big, rumbling “Hog” conveys a distinctly American image of freewheeling adventure and rebellion that Asian and European customers love. But Trump’s closed-door trade model got in the way. In Kansas City, 260 Harley employees will pay the price.
Harley announced last week that it would move some of its production to Europe, the company’s second-biggest market, specifically to avoid the punishing 31 percent tariffs imposed by Europe in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Those tariffs would add $2,200 to the price of each Harley motorcycle sold there.
This trade crisis was manufactured by Trump and never had to happen. He has mischaracterized the causes of trade imbalances and exaggerated the so-called exploitation of American goodwill by foreign governments. Instead of using facts, he concocts images of predators and enemies as a way of rallying his blue-collar base so they’ll believe he’s on their side.
He’s not. Trump’s administration has worked to undermine the health care system and social-services network that helps working-class families survive. He weakens unions and fights measures designed to boost wages for those at the bottom of pay scales. He’s on Trump’s side only.
…Trump can only play the blame game for so long before the nation’s farmers and blue-collar workers start asking why his trade policies are harming their livelihoods. If they don’t like what they see, the November elections would be a good time to send him a message.