Prior to the President's visit to Granite City Steel on Thursday, July 26th, Congressman Mike Bost spoke to the public on what he hopes to launch more conversations about. While it was obvious the jobs created at the U.S. steel plant in Granite City would be discussed at the conference, Bost had a few other important topics on his agenda, the paramount being the support of our ag economy.
We must solve the tariff issue and the hindrance it places on our farmers.
Farming is potentially the most important factor in our local economy. As any true midwesterner in the Southern Illinois area would know, you can't drive from any town to another without passing miles of farm fields, most prominently corn fields, of course. Granite City, along with all other communities in the Metro East St. Louis and Southern Illinois area, depends on our local farmers to have a thriving economy.
I have always belonged to a farming family. My grandfather has been a farmer from a very young age, and I couldn't imagine what my life would have been like if he hadn't been. So many other families from rural communities near mine and similar to mine feel the same way about it. Our ag economy is directly proportional to our prosperity, and our farmers work tirelessly to support us.
Farming isn't just planting and harvesting. There are so many risks involved and so many factors that must be considered in order to have a successful farming year, in addition to the heavy expenses required for crops to flourish.
This places a need for President Trump to thoughtfully consider the tariffs with other nations, in relation to the recent "trade war" with China. The China trade tariffs enforced by Trump currently are negatively affecting farmers.
Thankfully, the issue is not going completely unnoticed. There are some efforts being made. Recently, the U.S. agreed to issue an emergency relief fund for farmers to make up for the loss. While this does help, we cannot rely on a crutch. The U.S. cannot simply keep bailing out farmers to make up for the loss caused by tariffs. As Bost promotes, the tariff issue must be solved to allow farms and ranches to actually thrive.
Mike Bost, we are incredibly thankful to you for speaking out for our ag economy. We owe much more support to our farmers.