An Ohio farmer and former official for the U.S. Department of Agriculture has written a scathing Op-Ed comparing American farmers to Stormy Daniels: They’re being paid off after getting “screwed” by Donald Trump and his tariffs.
But this time the “hush money” payoff — $12 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize farmers — is “verification that the president’s protectionist’s trade policies are folly,” Christopher Gibbs wrote in an article published Wednesday in Ohio’s Sidney Daily News.
The situation reminds Gibbs of Daniels, the porn actress who claims she had a brief affair with Trump years ago and then was paid off to keep quiet about it before the 2016 election.
“Let me tell you a riddle: I slept with a billionaire because he said he loved me. I expected to make love, but in the morning I realized I was getting screwed,” Gibbs wrote. “I was offered cash to keep my mouth shut. Who am I? No, I’m not... someone named Stormy. I’m the American farmer.”
Gibbs said U.S. farmers have worked hard for decades to cultivate world markets for their goods “so we didn’t have to come to the American taxpayer for support.” Now those markets are being ripped apart by Trump and his trade policies that have sparked dueling tariffs with other countries.
“Using a club to bludgeon our trading partners and allies is not negotiating. It’s nothing more than a playground bully stomping around to see who will flinch,” Gibbs wrote.
Support from states in America’s farm belt― including Gibbs’ Ohio ― was critical to Trump’s win in the presidential election.
Gibbs wasn’t the only one to rail in an Op-Ed against the trade war spurred by Trump’s policies and the $12 billion in payments he’s ordered for farmers. Conservative columnist George Will wrote Friday in The Washington Post that Trump’s decision to “give farmers a $12 billion bandage for the wound he inflicted on them” is the strategy of a socialist-style president who can dole out favors and waivers to supporters.
Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue told Reuters on Saturday that the $12 billion in subsidies “obviously... is not going to make farmers whole” after retaliatory tariffs from China on soybeans and other agricultural products.
The subsidy will include cash for soybean, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hog farmers for this year’s production. It will also involve government purchases of fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks, according to Reuters.
Checks could start going out to farmers by late September, according to Perdue.
The Commodity Credit Corporation program is capped at a total of $30 billion, leaving room for the Trump administration to conceivably boost the subsidy in the future.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s last name and the name of the city of Sidney.