Trump is playing a dangerous game with California jobs, especially in our rural areas. He touts an unequal playing field for the United State's manufacturers and farmers as the reason for his restrictionist trade agenda, but seems ready to dig those very American manufacturing and agricultural workers into a financial abyss. Not only is he targeting long standing agreements with allies, he is ignoring the pleas of industry leaders directly feeling the impact, to stop the trade war madness.
While Canada's final June 30th list of tariffs no longer included fruit purees and nut categories, it still included yogurt. This is significant because March data via the U.S. Dairy Export Council showed that U.S. dairy products sold to Canada totaled $55 million. Mexico's additional tariffs set to begin tomorrow, July 5th, include various cheeses. Approximately 43% of California's dairy production is cheese.
While the month of June was National Dairy Month, dairy farmers organized through industry trade associations to lobby the President to end tariffs with Mexico citing that they have led to industry uncertainty. California is proud to highlight that 97% of dairy farms in the state are family owned. Dairy farmers and dairy leaders like Land O' Lakes, Inc. are determined to stick through what they hope will only be temporary hardship.
When California dairy farms are declining at a rate of 15% and the industry supports roughly 3 million indirect jobs nationwide according to the U.S Dairy Export Council and over 100,000 direct dairy related jobs in California, we must ask:
Who, exactly, can actually survive these economically unstable Trump Tariffs and trade war?
The Economic Impact of Dairy Products in California: