LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. -- Agriculture ranks as one of the top industries in Missouri, as it brought in $3.6 billion in exports in 2015. However, that high dollar value could be going down, because as President Trump's trade war with China continues, farmers in the Ozarks are feeling the impact.
After Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, China retaliated by heavily regulating us imports such as soybeans, corn, dairy and pork. Needless to say, the Missouri farming industry has taken a hit.
"Equipment costs have went up, and then we turn around and get less for our product. It's definitely made it harder for the farmers this year," said local farmer, Matt Woodward.
With the Show-Me-State heavily relying on the farming community, the unknown future of the trade war is concerning; especially considering Missouri's top exports are caught in the cross-fire.
"Beans are going to go for $8.50, and last year we were selling them from $9.50 to $10.50," said Woodward. "There's a big swing in there, and you figure that into how many bushels a guy needs to raise to raise a family and feed them, it kind of makes you nervous."
In an attempt to ease farmers' worries, President Trump plans to distribute $12 billion in aid to those who have felt the tariffs impact.
Some government officials have voiced their concerns in response to this temporary plan. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement Tuesday saying:
“This is a self-inflicted wound that borrowing $12 billion won’t solve. Picking winners and losers is not sound policy and this money won’t help many of the Missourians hurt by this trade war, including the laid off employees at Mid Continent Nail. We should get back to opening markets for our farmers and aggressively enforcing our trade laws.”
However, the local farming community remains optimistic. Despite the unknown future ahead, Woodward said he is hopeful a solution can be reached so that he and other local farmers like him can have the stability they need as they continue to provide goods for those across the world