Ohio farmer who backed Trump says he won’t be voting for him in 2020: “I have to protect my business
One Donald Trump supporter has been turned off the president, and it is not because of his rhetoric on race.
A soybean farmer from Ohio has vowed not to vote for Trump again because of the trade spat the president picked with China.
Chistopher Gribbs, who owns and operates 560 acres of land, was among the three-quarters of rural voters in the farm belt who backed Trump in 2016.
But now he says his family business has suffered due to Trump's trade policies because without China, he has lost the biggest market for his product.
He told CNBC how last year, his soybean prices dropped by a fifth, selling for a local cash price of $10.50 per bushel. Now, they only fetch $9, which is right at the cost of production.
"We've lost our biggest export market and that was China. And that's weighing on prices," he told The Exchange.
Last week Trump tweeted he would impose 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods, which sparked a Chinese retaliation of halting U.S. agricultural imports.
The U.S. exported $9.2 billions worth of agricultural goods to China last year.
Gribbs said: "The geopolitical problems that we have with the Trump tariffs have weighed on market confidence and the market just can't move.
"We need to get rid of this turmoil we have, the uncertainty, that's what's holding the markets down now. It certainly frustrates me. I was a Trump voter. I voted for the president but he certainly hasn't come through. He has lost on trade."
He was also critical of Trump's policy of getting out of the Trans-Pacific partnership, which "would have set the U.S. up with 11 countries to take on China."
Gribbs also considered Trump to "have lost on NAFTA," whose revised version is awaiting ratification.
When asked if he would vote for Trump again, Gribbs said: "No. I couldn't vote for him. I've got to protect my business...I won't be voting for the president again."
It comes amid growing criticism from American farmers of the White House's trade policies.
On Wednesday, representatives from the Minnesota Farmers Union, the American Soybean Association and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, confronted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue over trade.
The head of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Brian Thalmann told Perdue: "We are not starting to do great again. We are starting to go down very quickly," according to Bloomberg.
However the majority of farmers still back Trump. According to a recent survey from The Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, more than three-quarters of farmers said in July that the trade war will ultimately benefit U.S. agriculture.