Wilhelm column: Trump trade war hurting the Western Slope | PostIndependent.com

Wilhelm column: Trump trade war hurting the Western Slope

Colin Wilhelm
Guest Opinion

The American farmer and the American worker are both vital to our national economy, together they are the heartbeat of America.

As a nation, we must protect the American farmer and the American worker from unfair foreign competition. I will do everything in my power as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives to protect the farmers and workers not only on the Western Slope but around all of Colorado.

There are many tools that we can use to achieve this goal. One such tool is imposition of tariffs on foreign goods. It is a tool that we should use wisely and in a way that doesn't harm our economy for decades to come.

When President Trump imposed ill-advised tariffs on the importation of Chinese goods, he should have known that they would respond in kind, leading to a trade war that only hurts the average American worker and the American farmer.

China responded by imposing tariffs on many American exports. These tariffs have a direct impact and have already begun to hurt agriculture production on the Western Slope. This trade war will continue to hurt our farmers in ways that the Administration did not anticipate.

Recently, President Trump announced his Administration would offer $12 billion in aid to American farmers. This is a stopgap measure designed to protect the American farmer only in 2018. It may work or it may fail, only time will tell.

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What we do know is this: this Administration started a trade war; this trade war is hurting and will continue to hurt the Western Slope. Our farmers have lost overseas markets which may never return. Our farmers are losing thousands of dollars per day due to the actions of this administration.

It is time for our leaders to protect the American worker and the American farmer through well-reasoned and planned trade policy that will protect the worker at home and open up overseas markets for our goods.

I will do everything in my power as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives to protect the farmers and workers not only on the Western Slope but around all of Colorado.

Colin Wilhelm is a candidate for Colorado House District 57, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.