COLUMBUS — As Donald Trump comes to western Ohio this weekend, Ohio farmers and workers are calling out the president’s broken promises and failed policies, which have hurt manufacturing and the agricultural industry, while benefiting the wealthy, including the Australian billionaire (and Mar-a-Lago member) who owns the company Trump will visit.
From Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan:
Since [Trump’s] election, agricultural communities have received a body blow, a gut punch … and this has been the result of a byproduct of Mr. Trump’s weapons of choice to resolve the trade issue — and those are tariffs.
Mr. Trump has successfully alienated the rest of our normal trading partners and allies in the world, and he’s attacked this problem in a go-it-alone fashion, which is doomed to be unsuccessful.
I think farmers are losing confidence that President Trump really knows the way to the finish line in terms of actually gaining the sort of systemic improvements that are needed in our trading regimen with China, and we certainly can’t do it alone. If we’re going to accomplish this at all, we will certainly need the help and assistance of our allies from around the world.
From former GM Lordstown worker Chuckie Denison:
What I’d like to say to Donald Trump is, how dare you meet with an Australian billionaire in the state of Ohio, yet neglect the working class who are struggling in Lordstown, Ohio; Peru, Indiana; the Midwest and these United States of America?
From Ohio Farmers Union Past President Roger Wise:
We farm corn and soy. We’re former dairy farmers. We experienced the ‘80s and the ‘90s, and those times were not so good in agriculture. Unfortunately, we are experiencing those times again.
From Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper:
While Trump is here, he won’t be meeting with the Ohioans who have been hurt by his terrible policies. He won’t be meeting with the former workers of GM Lordstown and members of that community, which is really struggling since the closure of that factory and the loss of thousands of jobs. He won’t be meeting with Ohio farmers, who are getting absolutely crushed by his disastrous trade war with China.
Instead, he’s touring a factory that’s owned by an Australian billionaire who was “an advocate of the President’s 2017 corporate tax cut package,” according to the Australian Financial Review.
Two years ago, Trump told Ohioans, “Those jobs [that] have left Ohio, they’re coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move, don’t sell your house.” Then, when he was asked about GM closing the Lordstown plant, Trump said, “It doesn’t really matter.”
The president needs to know — it matters. Those job losses matter. Trump is happy to meet with Mary Barra, the CEO of GM. But he won’t meet with the workers.
Trump isn’t visiting with farmers either while he’s here. When he was on the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to stop the “war on the American farmer.” Instead, he has made farmers the collateral damage in his trade war.
The ironic thing is this — as Ohio farmers struggle with the loss of the Chinese market, guess who benefits? Australian farmers. This weekend Trump is visiting a plant owned by an Australian billionaire, and this year Australian farmers are expecting an additional $1 billion in farm exports and almost 4,000 new jobs because of Trump’s trade war.
So I guess you could call this weekend Trump’s “Make Australia Great Again” tour.