Trade war will make a bitter harvest for Kansans

Ever wonder where our planes go in Kansas? Or our wheat, corn and soybeans? Or our oil?

Hint: they don’t strictly stay in the U.S.

Our export heavy economy in the State of Kansas stands to suffer severe setbacks as trade wars loom on the horizon.

Don’t believe us because you’ve had to adopt an alternative reality to keep supporting the current administration?

Fine. Take it from our Republican State Senator Jerry Moran.

Kansas is an export state, and our ability to make a living is directly tied to our ability to sell the products we grow and manufacture to people around the world,” Moran wrote, arguing against the President. “These tariffs will harm auto, aerospace and other manufacturers in Kansas by risking retaliation against our exports, including food and agricultural products. I would strongly urge the president to reconsider the impact these tariffs will have on future ag exports, the five million manufacturing and related jobs that use steel or aluminum in addition to the added costs to consumers and American manufacturers who will pay higher prices for inputs, goods and services.”

Despite warnings from his own party, economists and anyone who isn’t drinking his bathwater, the President moved forward.

His administration put out steel tariffs. It then followed with various other tariffs, such as on $60 billion worth of other Chinese exports.

He knows best. He’s so very smart, you know.

And in a move that surprised no one, China responded slapping tariffs on 128 different U.S. exports, including agricultural products.

The stock market plunged in recent days following the announcement, quickly eating up the gains it made following the administration’s souped up Kansas tax cuts to the rich and promises to remove financial regulations.

The administration’s case for all these tariffs was that unfair trade practices cost America jobs.

We’re not arguing that China has been a bad actor. By all means, buy American. But do some math and research before taking drastic actions that can greatly harm our economy and recovery.

While steel tariffs resulted in the short term creation of jobs at a few American steel refineries, Moody’s Analytics estimates that the move could cost American companies between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs as higher prices of steel impact manufacturers.

The administration’s move was penny wise and pound stupid. It’s a move that appeals to an emotional idea of what the country once was but not the reality in which it, nor the world, operates.

And, unfortunately, it’s a move that might not have been made if more adults were in the room.

Rex Tillerson advocated restraint on tariffs. He’s out.

National Economic Director Gary Cohn argued against tariffs. He resigned over the issue.

Instead of advisers, the President wishes for sycophants and yes men who’d rather complement the emperor on his clothes than tell him how nakedly harmful some of his policies will be.

His actions threaten to cripple our main industries of aerospace and agriculture in Kansas. Those industries are life bloods.

If we weren’t all in the same boat, we might just shrug and say our state and nation’s voters deserve to reap what they sow.

However, we hope for change, and we hope for this trade war to be averted.

Otherwise, in Kansas, it will truly be a bitter harvest.