(WISCONSIN) — Trump’s failed COVID-19 response has crushed farmers in Wisconsin and across the country. Farmers have been dumping milk, setting their crops on fire, and euthanizing their livestock because there is no market for their products. All the while, millions of more Americans are going hungry because they lost their jobs.

But farmers were struggling long before coronavirus hit the United States. Trump’s chaotic trade wars, particularly with China, obliterated the markets Wisconsin farmers spent decades building in just a short few months. During this time Trump and his administration told Wisconsinites the pain would be “temporary,” that farmers were “over the hump,” and that small and medium-sized family farms should just get bigger if they want to survive.

Trump has never seen farmers as more than a political pawn critical to his reelection chances. He used their pain to push through a multi-billion dollar bailout program that was nothing more than a handout for large agricultural companies. After getting rolled by China on a trade deal that was a mere fraction of what he promised it would be, a recent news report confirms that Trump was never interested in bettering the lives of Wisconsin’s farmers and was simply looking out for his own political interests.

“Donald Trump crushed our farmers and the local economies they support because he only sees them as a bargaining chip, not human beings and Wisconsinites,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Philip Shulman said. “Trump has been a lapdog for China as he has rolled over for them at every turn. It’s been made clear by recent news reports that Trump gambled with farmers’ livelihoods because he thought it would be good for his reelection prospects. But after decimating these communities, they’re not willing to give him another four years — they know they can’t afford it.”

Wisconsin Examiner: Farms go from frying pan of trade wars to fire of COVID-19
Coxhead said trade policies under President Donald Trump…contributed significantly to the plight of Wisconsin farmers in the last few years. The federal government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic has further endangered the country’s — and Wisconsin’s — position in the world economy, he added.

Wisconsin State Farmer: Economic recovery after pandemic will be slow for farmers due to trade and internet issues
He also said the Trump administration’s volatile relationship with China, one of the country’s biggest trading partners, is a cause for concern. And a widespread lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas is causing many rural economies to fall behind entirely. “The global economic recovery, which will outpace the United States, is not really going to benefit us all that well because the administration has turned its back on international trade,” Coxhead said.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Coronavirus has hit Wisconsin dairy farms especially hard — some farmers may even have to dump milk
Coronavirus is delivering a blow to Wisconsin agriculture…export markets are threatened by global trade unrest, and some farms may not make it through the spring. “The coronavirus outbreak has caused milk prices to drop down to unprofitable levels this spring…We also need to be prepared for the scenarios that would require our members to dump milk”…”or dispose of (it) in some other manner,”…the stimulus package won’t resolve long-term issues such as increased global competition and trade wars that may arise from countries closing their borders to curb the spread of COVID-19. The global pandemic has sent a shock wave throughout agriculture.

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