Trade War Could Hurt Farmers

On Thursday, President Trump shocked global markets by announcing steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The President cited national security concerns and a desire to support domestic industries as the driving forces behind the tariffs.

Alongside foreign countries and U.S. manufacturers, worries rose this week across rural America about looming trade wars.

The main suppliers of foreign steel are Canada, Brazil, South Korea, and Mexico, all countries that are also major consumers of U.S. agricultural products. Many in the agricultural industry fear that retaliatory measures from these countries could hurt U.S. exports of meat and grains.

These fears led to a slaughter in the livestock markets, with live cattle futures trading at a six-week low on Friday under $1.22 per pound and hogs falling to a two-month nadir under 67 cents per pound.

Grains were more resilient in the wake of the news. Corn, wheat, and soybeans all reached the highest price in over a year this week because of ongoing weather concerns in South America and the U.S. Great Plains, and by midday Friday they had only given up a portion of their gains.