Veteran K-State Ag-Economist Barry Flinchbaugh Pulls No Punches on Trump's Trade War AgendaFri, 24 Aug 2018 14:50:06 CDT
The Arthur Capper Cooperative Center at Kansas State hosted this week the 2018 K-State Cooperative Symposium. Leaders in cooperative management and agribusiness from all around the state was in attendance. Among the featured presenters there, Professor Emeritus in Agricultural Economics at K-State and very familiar figure in Kansas agriculture, Barry Flinchbaugh, who engaged in a conversation about the lead topics in agriculture currently. Principle among those - trade issues - a subject which Flinchbaugh in typical fashion, pulled no punches.
“We are about to embark on a trade war that is frankly, damn stupid! And the evidence is clear, no one… absolutely no one wins in a trade war,” he said. “All participants eventually lose.”
Flinchbaugh attacked the notion that he has heard from the ag community about farmers being complacent in agreeing to deal with initial losses in return for long-term gains. Flinchbaugh asked what exactly they hoped to achieve in the long-term, insisting that no good can come from a trade war.
According to Flinchbaugh, an initial burst of buying will occur as customers anticipate the arrival of future financial penalties once tariffs have been levied. Eventually, though, those sales taper off. He suggests neither China nor the US have yet begun to feel the full impact of the tariff pains to come.
One of the main objectives of the President’s agenda regarding this trade war, is to apply pressure on China to abandon its surreptitious practices in obtaining US intellectual property. Striking tariffs as a non-starter, Flinchbaugh offers no other alternative tactic to accomplish the President’s goal - shrugging the fact there’s really not much that actually can be done about it in his opinion.
However, he states that joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have been a step in the right direction, contending that China would have then been forced to deal with the US backed by 10 other nations and suggesting the power of strength in numbers.
In addition, Flinchbaugh maintains that protecting the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be of the utmost priority. He admits that while he became initially very concerned about this issue when negotiations first got underway, he has since relaxed believing that the President has enough good people insisting he not withdraw and see the negotiations through to a final agreement - which he believes will eventually happen.
Listen to Flinchbaugh opine on these subjects and others, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below.
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