In an uncertain economy, talk is cheap. Kansans deserve action.
Politicians run for office promising to make the economy their “top priority.” However, when it comes to standing up for actual Kansas workers against powerful people, the spines of some current elected officials turn soft.
President Trump, in a speech to the American Farm Bureau National Convention in January, said, “We want to see even more victories for the American farmer and for the American rancher.”
However, Trump’s announcement of hundreds of billions of dollars in new tariffs against China puts the livelihoods of Kansas agricultural producers in danger. These tariffs invited immediate threats of retaliation from the Chinese — a major market for the Kansas economy — targeting the very communities who trusted Trump to deliver on his promises of economic victories for our country and state.
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Sen. Pat Roberts attended the Farm Bureau speech, but he’s failed to hold Trump accountable for the promises he made to our farmers and ranchers. Rep. Ron Estes was absent.
There’s an old saying: the economy starts at the farm gate.
Agriculture accounts for roughly 44.5 percent of our state’s economy, and nearly 247,000 jobs. Our manufacturing sector employs 162,000 Kansans. The Chinese are threatening to target these sectors of the Kansas economy in retaliation.
Protectionist tariffs close off the global markets upon which the Kansas economy relies. Make no mistake: if this trade war escalates, Kansas will lose jobs.
The ripple effects are enormous. The new costs will be passed from producer to distributor to retailer to consumer — more money out of your family’s pocket.
Our agriculture and aviation workers deserve to have elected officials who put the needs of Kansans above party loyalty.
If our elected officials lack the backbone to stand up to President Trump when he’s wrong, they unfortunately don’t deserve to be elected officials.
Even Chinese President Xi Jinping knows a protectionist path is destructive, saying Tuesday that only by “working together can we truly achieve win-win results.”
I’m running for Congress to help working families — our ag producers, manufacturers and rural communities in Kansas — get a hand up and thrive in a global economy.
I want to work with President Trump to create a fair trade policy that works for Kansas, but I will stand up to him when his policies are wrong for Kansans.
James Thompson is a Democratic candidate in the 4th District Congressional race.