When President Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum in March, Missouri farmers and manufacturers sounded the alarm, worrying they could be caught in the crosshairs of retaliatory tariffs. Three months later, the President’s policies have the United States headed for a full-blown trade war.
From agriculture to manufacturing, Missouri’s economy is already seeing serious impact from the President’s tariffs. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the tariffs are putting over 800,000 Missouri jobs and nearly $900 million in total state exports at risk.
Last month, the tariffs drove soybean prices to their lowest point in two years.
“That’s huge,” Greg Luce, research director of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, told the Columbia Missourian. “And that’s just based on the announcement of the tariffs. Nothing has really taken effect yet. So, that is just leading up to it so it could have a greater impact on the price.”
Missouri Soybean Association President Blake Hurst told the Kansas City Star that, “If I don’t get as much money for selling soybeans, then I don’t go spend as much money at the grocery store or at Target or what have you, so it trickles down to everyone.”
But its not just farmers who are being slammed.
In Southeast Missouri, the nation’s largest nail manufacturer could be forced out of business as soon as Labor Day due to the President’s steel tariffs. Mid Continent Nail Corporation spokesman James Glassman told CNN that the tariff policy “has put this company on the brink of extinction.” If the company shuts down, 500 workers will be out of a job.
Local editorial boards have also been urging the President to reconsider his policy. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently wrote, “This trade crisis was manufactured by Trump and never had to happen. He has mischaracterized the causes of trade imbalances and exaggerated the so-called exploitation of American goodwill by foreign governments. Instead of using facts, he concocts images of predators and enemies as a way of rallying his blue-collar base so they’ll believe he’s on their side. He’s not.”
While Missourians across the state have been speaking out, not all of their elected officials seem to be listening. Republican Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley, has turned a blind eye to the effects of the President’s tariffs on his state. When asked about the concerns of farmers and manufacturers, Hawley said “I think the President is right.”