A Crisis in Corn from President Trump
As reported yesterday by CNN, corn growers may be among the first victims of Trump’s policies. Placing at risk the export trade value of the ~12,600,000 Bushels of corn grown annually, based on the USDA’s 2015’s Ohio Corn Estimates (source). According to the USDA’s 2012 Census, cash receipts from corn in Henry County totalled $54,094,000, making it the second most important crop in the county after soybeans (source).
Now Trump puts all that in jeopardy.
Senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads Mexico’s congressional committee on foreign relations, filed a bill this week to halt all corn buying from the United States. Should it be enacted, Mexico would import corn from Brazil and Argentina. Two countries more than happy to swoop-in and benefit from Trump’s rather poor approach to governing..
However you may feel about politics, this is bad news for Henry County farmers. Mexico is America’s top export market for corn. Our country’s farmers collectively sent $2.4 billion in corn to Mexico in 2015 (source). It’s a real threat, and actions such as these can roil markets and negatively impact crop prices without even being implemented.
Trump should be working to expand international markets for our farmers, not close the door on current ones. And the risk to Henry County does not end at corn. Soybeans, Henry County’s most valuable crop in cash receipts is also a likely target of trade actions. They may soon be under threat, and not only from Mexico, but China and other markets too (source).
A smart leader would be able to re-negotiate trade deals like NAFTA without disrupting current markets. Our farmers work hard and deserve to have a reasonable expectation that crops planted in the spring will bring a fair price at market in the fall. With Trump in charge, what was once a certainty is now at risk of being lost.