Farmers Hit Back as USDA Chief Sonny Perdue Mocks Those Harmed by Trump Trade War as ‘Whiners’

USDA / YouTube USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Year One 1558697772.jpg...
USDA / YouTube

Farmers facing record bankruptcies and collapsing incomes due to President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China were not amused by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s joke about their economic pain during an event in Minnesota last week.

“I had a farmer tell me this in Pennsylvania,” Perdue told an audience of thousands of farmers gathered in a barn near Morgan, Minnesota. “What do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.”

Some laughed at the agriculture secretary’s joke, but other farmers booed and denounced Perdue’s wisecrack as callous and tone-deaf mockery of the real hardship caused by the Trump administration’s trade policies.

“It was definitely not an appropriate thing to say,” Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, told HuffPost on Monday. “It was very insensitive. It took everyone by surprise. He doesn’t understand what farmers are dealing with, and he’s the head of the Department of Agriculture. He’s supposed to be working for farmers.”

Perdue’s characterization of struggling farmers as “whiners” came after the Trump administration announced it will impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1, a significant escalation in the ongoing trade war between the two global powers.

China quickly retaliated by canceling all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, a move American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall called “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”

With farmers suffering from his trade policies, Trump has attempted to tamp down backlash with targeted aid packages—but, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), most of the assistance has gone to wealthy farmers.

Meanwhile, as HuffPost reported on Monday, “Net farm income in America has plunged by nearly half over the last five years from $123.4 billion in 2013 to $63 billion last year. It plummeted by 16 percent last year alone.”

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said last week that Trump’s “strategy of constant escalation and antagonism” toward China has “made things worse.”

“It’s really, really getting bad out here,” added Bob Kuylen, a North Dakota farmer, in an interview with CNBC. “Trump is ruining our markets.”

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7 Comments on "Farmers Hit Back as USDA Chief Sonny Perdue Mocks Those Harmed by Trump Trade War as ‘Whiners’"

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Lone Wolf
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Lone Wolf

“It’s really, really getting bad out here,” added Bob Kuylen, a North Dakota farmer, in an interview with CNBC. “Trump is ruining our markets.”

EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES, didn’t you get the memo???

Robert Burnett
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Robert Burnett

I say it’s time not for farmers but for us all to make that SOB in the White House whine.

Dee
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Again do you really believe trump will adhere to him being voted out, even Pelosi has stated if dems dont win by a near landslide trump will contest the votes even taking this to the supreme court, we need real leadership taking a real action in holding this blatant dictoral behavior, right now trumps actions are being endorsed and enabled by the inaction of those with the ability and means to hold him and his administration to account not just giving more lip service yet again. Muellers report wasn’t the only evidence for impeachment, barring access to the people incarcerated… Read more »
DHG
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Anyone in a top level position in this administration is working for themselves and the other oligarch rich not the common person. Its time for all to reject the fuhrer and his merry thieves.

E.A. Blair
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E.A. Blair

They voted for him in vast numbers, and now they literally have to reap what they have sown – a total betrayal of their trust. That trust was placed in a hollow projection of what they were convinced to believe they wanted.

Dee
Guest

I’d love to see any of these weak Chinned pompous pantywaisted trigger happy sellouts work a farm themselves.

Jackie
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Jackie

Elections have consequences… not only are their prices going to hit rock bottom but their immigrant farm laborers are disappearing. Good luck getting white folks to harvest the land. I’m starting to enjoy the suffering certain people are enduring through their support of 45.