GOP is letting down U.S. farmers

GOP is letting down U.S. farmers

It's never been easy to farm in Midwest, but nowadays, especially so: Farmers are hit by Chinese counter-tariffs on hogs, impacted by threats of much bigger losses on soy exports.

Trump's administration continues to rattle markets without a clear purpose (unless you discard beautiful arbitrage opportunities for those somehow knowing the content of the president's tweets just a bit in advance).

Pleas of farmers' groups have little impact on the decision making in Washington: Farmers are way behind in the pecking order, as attested, for example, by the recent decision of Pruitt's EPA to grant ethanol waivers to large profitable refineries over loud objections of corn growers.

(As an aside, remembering continuous frenzy over alleged transgressions of Obama against American farmers — can one imagine Obama's, or Clinton's, or Kasich's, or Jeb's — anyone but Trump's administration — doing what it does to farmers?)

Now, who should defend a hugely important regional constituency in difficult times? A congressman, one would think — like Rep. Rodney Davis of our District 13. Does he? Nope. Always hungry for media attention, he was failing to condemn trade war-mongering for weeks, offering support for Trump's actions instead.

Clearly, he believes that no matter what, the Farm Bureaus will again endorse him, and the farmers and their families will duly vote for him this November.

He is certain that the GOP owns the farmers.

Perhaps — but only if they are willingly ignorant to their own peril.

Betrayal of growers and raisers by the Republican Party is in plain sight.

YULIY BARYSHNIKOV

Urbana