Bad Decisions in Washington Leave North Carolina Economy at Risk

North Carolina boasts having the strongest economy in the Southeast, but poor decisions by the administration in Washington and its allies in the Senate leadership are threatening to slow down the growth for the diverse and bucolic Tar Heel State.

Politically motivated policy decisions have led to lackluster responses to natural disasters, inadequate infrastructure maintenance (North Carolina’s military bases are among the most in need of upkeep) and declining overseas markets for the state’s agricultural products. At the heart of the problem are the willy-nilly Trump tariffs.

Among the North Carolina industries getting hammered by the Trump tariffs are chemical companies, farmers, pork processors and auto parts manufacturers, according to the News & Observer newspaper. Even beer drinkers are feeling the pain.

And those are just the industries direct affected. There are countless more that take a hit as part of the supply and support chain. And let us not forget that tariffs are just import taxes that are passed onto consumers, like us.

The Daily Reflector in Greenville reports, “Over a six-month period ending in March, exports from the United States to China dropped by $18.4 billion, or 26 percent, compared to a year earlier. Total North Carolina exports to China, the state’s third largest trade partner, had increased from $2.189 billion in 2016 to $2.362 billion in 2017. It DROPPED last year amid an earlier round of Trump’s tariffs to $2.339 billion.”

Scott Metzger is president of the Ohio Soybean Association and director of the American Soybean Association, explains in The Hill newspaper the chain reaction the Trump tariffs are causing amid the untimely and increasingly more frequent natural disasters hitting the U.S. “All of these tariffs are already causing strife for many American farmers, businesses and families,” Metzger writes.

“The retaliatory tariffs from China have acted as a double whammy for farmers who have already been hit with floods, fires and other natural disasters like hurricanes that have impacted their crops. And while the president has offered assistance to farmers and has said this aid has helped them, the facts – and in some cases, farmers themselves – have said the aid isn’t enough to truly counteract the negative impact of the tariffs,” Metzger added.

We need to stop the wave of poor decisions driven by the extreme politics in Washington that could cripple the economy of North Carolina if left unchecked. Will that happen? Maybe not. For example, Republican Dan Bishop, now running for Congress in North Carolina, put forth a proposal as a state lawmaker that would have cost the state $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years. with economy-thwarting policies like that there any hope a  to stop Trump’s assault on the North Carolina economy?

“A lot of our farmers may not make it to the long-term gain because the short-term pain is so bad,” N.C. Farm Bureau leader Larry Wooten said in a recent interview.

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