China’s decision to stop buying commodities like soybeans from U.S. farmers has already done irreversible damage to the agricultural industry. Soybeans are rotting in silos and farmers have no one to buy their goods – meaning they will likely begin missing payments if they haven’t already.
Many farmers continue to wait on the sidelines to get into the fields. With freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and high winds set to hit the northern Plains this week, the corn in North Dakota is only 22% mature vs. a 75% five-year average, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report.
The subsidies that the U.S. government is providing to farmers to make up for lost sales to China are not making up dollar for dollar for the loss ... There’s still a difference between what the farmers could earn and did earn when there weren’t tariffs on their products going into China and what the U.S. government is paying them.”
Beyond the simple fact that a tax on meat would be yet another example of government overreach, there are other problems with a meat tax. It is also based on a subjective and dubious interpretation of the effects of meat on both the environment and on personal health. Such a tax would, like existing taxes on sugar and tobacco products, disproportionately impact the poorest Americans.
Discussion of Brexit and food has been grossly distorted by ill-informed scare stories, of which concerning America ‘chlorinated chicken’ is the most notorious. But there are also scares stories concerning the fate of farming in general, and of lamb production in particular. What are the facts? I have a close American friend, now living in Ohio, who is quite finicky about what she eats but she had never heard of “Chlorinated Chicken”. When I explained to her that the chicken that she eats in the US has been sprayed with chlorinated water to kill bacteria but that chicken in the…