Former Republican Congressman Says Trump Tariffs Being Felt In Louisiana

Jan 9, 2019

UNCERTAIN HARVEST - Louisiana soybean farmers have lost market share since trade tariffs began under the Trump administration.
Credit Courtesy: LSU AgCenter

LA SOYBEAN TARIFFS –  China has been the biggest buyer of soybeans grown by Louisiana farmers.  But President Trump’s trade tariffs on Chinese goods have resulted in 25% fewer soybeans being exported to Chinese markets.   And China has issued $39 million in new retaliatory tariffs on to Louisiana exports since the trade dispute began.  While these tariffs have hit Louisiana's soybean industry hard, a former Louisiana Congressman says tariffs affect everyone.

“Keep in mind, tariff’s are taxes. And what we’ve seen just totally since tariff’s have been put in place, Louisiana taxpayers have paid $85 million in added costs. Taxes basically to the U.S. government in the form of tariffs.”

Dr. Charles Boustany was a Republican congressman for more than a decade. He says trade tariffs on Louisiana agriculture will hurt the state economy overall.
Credit Courtesy: Capitol Counsel

Dr. Charles Boustany  was  a  Republican Louisiana Congressman  for more than 10 years.  Recently  He’s teamed up with a non-partisan campaign called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland,  a group opposed to the use of tariffs.  Boustany told Baton Rouge Public Radio’s WRKF how Louisiana Farmers are being impacted by Trump’s trade tariffs.                   

“The problem now is that these tariffs have basically blocked market access for American exports, Louisiana exports of commodities like soybeans and other ag-commodities," explained Boustany. "That means for our soybean farmers, they cannot find markets to export certain crops. So for instance, soybeans --  the Chinese government basically quit taking soybeans as a result of these tariffs. So now we’ve got soybean farmers having to plow over their crops because they can’t sell it. Into China and they have no place to store the crop and so they just take a loss on it.”

And  Boustany  says it’s not just having an impact on Louisiana Soybean farmers.  The Trump Trade Tariffs have a ripple effect throughout the economy.

NO WHERE TO GO - It's likely more acres of Louisiana soybeans will be plowed under as storage facilities are full.
Credit Courtesy: LSU AgCenter

“It’s causing a lot of collateral damage to the Louisiana economy and this could get certainly worse if this continues," Boustany said. "Small Businesses are feeling it. If tariffs are increased as the president is talking about doing it, it’s going to take a full impact on consumers, a negative impact on consumers. So these tariffs are basically hurting across the board in the economy and the full impact is just beginning at this time.”               

Meanwhile Trade Negotiations between Chinese and American officials resumed this week in Bejing, China.