The midterm election results in soybean-producing states reveal farmers might be losing faith in Trump’s trade war with China

soybean farmerJim Young/Reuters

 

The US midterm election race in Illinois’ 13th congressional district offered a barometer of American farmers’ faith in the trade war with China. Democrat challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, who had vowed to lobby for de-escalation of the trade war, came up just short, losing the vote by a mere 1.4 percentage points to incumbent Rodney Davis (R). Illinois is the top soybean-producing state in the US, As of April, before the salvo of import tariffs began, about 25 per cent of the state’s soybean crop was bought by China.  In Washington, the most trade-dependent state in the country, around US$594 million of the state’s annual agricultural exports to China are now targeted by Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs. Democrats in Washington were overwhelmingly on track to either extend their margins of victory over Republican challengers or, in the case of three congressional districts expected to stay red, significantly narrow the margins of loss.

As the results came trickling in for one of the most consequential midterm elections in recent US history, the conclusion of one particular battleground race in central Illinois offered a barometer of American farmers’ faith in a trade war with China that could cost them billions of dollars in exports.

As voter rejection of Republicans gathered steam in heavily trade-dependent states like Washington, the battle for Illinois’ 13th congressional district — a traditionally conservative stronghold that Republican representative Rodney Davis won by almost 20 percentage points in 2016 — came down to the wire on Tuesday night, in an election that saw the Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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