Cerro Gordo farmer says although tariffs are hurting his business, he supports trade war

Published: May. 14, 2019 at 6:50 PM EDT
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CERRO GORDO, NC (WECT) - Consumers could start paying more for everything from groceries to appliances thanks to the trade war with China.

President Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China hit back, slapping tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. Those tariffs are affecting farmers in the U.S. who sell their crops to China.

Chandler Worley is a sixth generation farmer in Cerro Gordo. He sells soybeans and corn to China, and said his prices have been slashed in half.

A few years ago he made $16 per bushel of soybeans; now, he makes $8. Worley is also still feeling the effects of last year’s tariffs, and a crop failure thanks to Hurricane Florence.

“I can’t farm another year to break even or lose money," he said. "I lost enough money last year and I am just scraping things back together to make sure I could go again this year. To be able to get out there and do a really good job, you have to feel like you’re going to make some money, and right now, I see I’m going to work for nothing.”

Despite losing money, Worley said he supports Trump’s goal to get a better trade deal with China. He said the country’s future depends on the best possible trade deal.

“I hope they work out something pretty soon, but I have got a little bit of faith in the president," Worley said. “He is a businessman. He’s not a politician, so he’s going to get us the best deal possible."

According to Worley, it costs more than $300 per acre to grow soybeans. The current market prices have him questioning whether he should continue to grow them.

“We will either lose money by growing beans, or won’t make any money at all," Worley said.

While he hopes a deal is reached soon, Worley said he will stand behind the president until the best possible trade deal is reached.

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