Common Ground: Trade Wars

07/30/2018 05:58 PM

It’s a topic that has been on everyone’s mind recently. The possibility of a trade war—caused from the implementation of tariffs to foreign countries.

When the Trump administration announced a tariff on steel and aluminum to several countries—-those countries like Canada, the European Union and China hit back with their own tariffs on American products—including a distinctly Kentucky product—bourbon.

While the viewpoints of the implementations of tariffs varies—Kentucky’s congressional delegation all agree on one thing—No one wins in a trade war.

President Trump imposed the tariffs—after frequently criticizing trade agreements with other countries—often saying they aren’t fair to America.

While the farmers and bourbon distillers stand worried about the cost the tariffs will cause them—Congressman James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, sides with the president that tariffs were needed—but he does not want to see a trade war ensue.

“I think farmers are conservative by nature, they don’t like that we are on the front lines of a trade war,” he said. “But they understand that if we don’t do something they aren’t going to be able to continue to stay on the farm because their children won’t have any opportunities there, their spouses don’t have opportunities there in these small towns. So first and foremost we have got to create an environment where American workers are on a level playing field with Chinese workers.”

Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress—Representative John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, agrees that a trade war would do nothing but hurt Kentuckians.

But he doesn’t share the same affinity toward the tariffs in the first place—earlier this month he said he believes the tariffs will be a main issue in the midterm elections.

“I think tariffs are going to become a significant issue, you have places in Kentucky with soybean growers where the prices have changed,” he said. “I read one analysis where farms, soybean farms, are going to lose almost 90 percent of their revenue.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has also repeatedly said that no one wins a trade war.

Just last week, President Trump met with the President of the European Union Commission where they said they would work towards a deal on zero tariffs in the future. Which many are hoping is soon because—as long as the tariffs continue to be imposed the likelihood of a trade war becomes more and more imminent.

Watch the segment.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at


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