On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump brought "great progress" to China on trade, even as US farmers say they are suffering enormously from the tariffs he imposed on Beijing.
"Important meetings and calls on China Trade Deal, and more, today with my staff," he tweeted. "There are huge advances on so many fronts! Our country has such a fantastic potential for future growth and grandeur at an even higher level!"
Important Meetings and Calls on China Trade Deal and more today with my staff. Big progress is made on so many different fronts! Our country has such a fantastic potential for future growth and greatness at an even higher level!
̵1; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019
The comments were in stark contrast to Trump's own administration, which has released few details of the negotiations and has said "much work" still needs to be done before concrete agreements are reached.
"Everyone thinks it's a dead end. The president wants something that isn't and is trying to be," an analyst talking to US dealers told The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, American farmers have been severely hit by the trade damage, largely due to Trump's decision to impose taxes on US imports of Chinese goods last year. In retaliation of this decision, Chinese officials spoke on a relatively large number of US goods, including dairy products and pork products and soybeans, the country's top agricultural exports to China.
U.S. Sales of soybeans to China have fallen by approx. 94 percent since then. As a result, many Midwest farmers have had to file for bankruptcy as they wait for the two countries to conclude an agreement to end the current halt, threatening their growing stocks.
According to analysis by The Wall Street Journal this month, US producers in Chapter 12 are filing bankruptcy protection "at levels not seen for at least a decade." The default rate is climbed as farmers cannot pay their loans due to the fall in profits.
"I've been through several dips for 40 years," told the Nebraska farmer Kirk Duensing Journal. "This one is going to kick my beard."
Duensing said he had been running operations until this month by leasing himself to other farmers, borrowing money for massive interest and selling land and equipment, but was still more than $ 1 million in debt.
Agricultural lenders say they have also seen a sharp increase in bankruptcies and financial problems, as banks deny the farmers the means they need to plant spring cultures during the trade war.
"We see producers running out of opportunities," said Tim Koch, senior vice president of the Farm Credit Services of America, to The Journal.
"We thought 2019 would be the year things turned around," says Curt Hudnutt, head of the rural bank for Rabobank North America, added separately and referring to the bank's agricultural portfolio, which has deteriorated over the past year. "Then the trade conflict happened, and it really was a damper on things."
The commercial war has caused some farmers to consider suicide themselves, as their profits become dry and their future is uncertain.
"The uncertainty they will survive on the home farm, [causing] is more people to think negatively," Frank Friar, a retired agricultural lender who advises farmers on the funding and bankruptcy of the Wisconsin Farm Center, The Journal said.
State aid outweighs the loss from Trump's tariffs, has done little to facilitate the farmers' fears.
"We don't want a dispensation. We want trade. We want to sell the crop," Illinois Soybean farmer Lynn Rohrscheib told the New York Times late last year.
"We were all really supportive [of the president’s decision] in the beginning. We figured we didn't know all the facts and something would happen, and it won't be a long-term thing. Now it seems that this is getting more Worse, the subsidy program has only distributed a fraction of its funds since September, when the first half of it was promised $ 12 billion. Handout was provided. In total, only $ 838 million has been paid to farmers affected by commercial warfare.
Retailers have just returned from China, where trade meetings were very productive. Now at meetings with me at Mar-a-Lago details. Meanwhile, billions of dollars are being paid to the United States by China in the form of trade tariffs!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019
The program has also been plagued by bureaucracy and "practical challenges," according to The Times. Adults have been told to wait until their harvest is completed before applying for a rescue, a process that is slowed down by bad weather conditions in many areas.
And in a different blow on the agricultural sector, many federal support grants were halted during the government decommissioning, which already has hard-pressed farmers under additional economic coercion.
Although stocks are growing and decaying, and American peasants carry the bottom of the fallout from the president's trading spear, Trump himself praised the conflict as the first step towards confronting the US's trade deficit that has grown significantly since joining.
During a press conference at the Rose Garden, it was planned to announce a national emergency at the border between the United States and Mexico, which would allow the administration to divert funds from the Pentagon and elsewhere to build the presidential proposed wall, praising Trump Friday China for its recent negotiations with the United States, which includes a deal last month to buy several million tons of soybeans from the United States.
Agricultural experts and analysts as well as farmers themselves are concerned that the purchases may not be enough to put any kind of dent into record US soybean pulp built up last year.
The president specifically focused on China's decision to add fentanyl, a major contributor to the number of deaths from the increasing opioid epidemic on its list of "criminal" drugs, meaning that those treated with the drug would get the death penalty.
"President Xi [Jingping] has agreed to put fentanyl on his list of lethal lethal substances and it is a criminal punishment, and the punishment is death," he said.
"So, frankly, it's one of the things I'm most excited about in our trade deal. If you want to know the truth, I think there's no more important point."