RIPPEY, Iowa -- "Nothing's happened yet, and soybean prices are over a dollar lower, just from the chatter," said Tim Bardole, Secretary of the Iowa Soybean Association.
President Trump has said trade wars are good and easy to win, and that America already lost the battle a long time ago. But Bardole, a fifth generation farmer, sees it differently.
"It's kind of a lose-lose for both the people in China and the U.S. soybean industry, and the soybean farmer," said Bardole. "They need soybeans. China needs soybeans, and they have to buy some U.S. soybeans because there's not enough soybeans in the world without it."
By slapping tariffs on trade between the two nations, Bardole says both countries are going to feel pain.
"By putting the tariffs on, that increases the cost for their processors and livestock industry and in the end their consumers, which isn't good for them," said Bardole. "And as a U.S. soybean farmer with the prices below break even now, it's definitely not good for us, either."
Yet, while Bardole believes the ever-escalating trade war between America and China is bad for everyone involved--including the U.S. soybean industry and him personally--he gives the president slack on this issue.
"I understand where President Trump's coming from," he said. "Because the United States does a very good job, I believe, in following the WTO regulations, the World Trade Organization. There's a lot of countries that don't."
Bardole voted for Trump, and he says while the trade agreements the president rails against have actually been good for the U.S. ag industry, he also says they've been bad for other industries. However, Bardole believes in putting the country ahead of himself.
"I have to support my family," he said, "but I also care about somebody working in a factory in Pennsylvania. They have to provide for their family, too."