Opinion

Tariffs Could Hurt President Trump’s Chances in North Carolina

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Posted: Sep 20, 2019 9:14 AM
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 Tariffs Could Hurt President Trump’s Chances in North Carolina

Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Last week, President Trump and Vice President Pence traveled to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to rally for Dan Bishop. I was a big supporter of the President in 2016, and I’m working hard to help him get re-elected in 2020 because of all the great work he’s done for North Carolina. While he was here, I had the pleasure of not only attending President Trump’s rally, but I also had the honor of meeting with the Vice President as well. While at the event, I flagged for him some serious concerns I believe we are facing in North Carolina, including the impact all these tariffs are having here. 

Let me say that China needs to be held accountable, and I’m really glad the President is trying to do that - especially when no other recent President has been willing to try. He’s a tough negotiator and fights tooth and nail to protect American workers from all the harmful things China does. But as more and more tariffs go into effect and start really hitting North Carolinians’ pocketbooks hard, I’m worried it could hurt this great economy he’s built - and hurt his chances of getting re-elected next year.

As these tariffs go into effect, they serve as a tax – and in some cases a big one – on North Carolina families and businesses by making things we really need more expensive, putting all of President Trump’s hard work and our flourishing economy at risk.

Right now,  the American economy is booming because of the policies President Trump has and currently is putting into place, including the tax cuts that helped so many North Carolina families and small businesses. 

Unemployment rates across the country continue to sit at record lows. Here in North Carolina, we’ve seen the unemployment rate drop pretty steadily since President Trump took office as our local economy thrives. But in just the last few months, unemployment has ticked up slightly in the state. While this could be due to a lot of factors, no one can deny that tariffs have likely played a role in that increase. 

In fact, I just read a recent report that says tariffs have killed 300,000 American jobs already and are projected to impact another 200,000 by the end of the year. That’s half a million jobs that could be lost because of the tariffs.

Here in North Carolina, over one million jobs are impacted by trade and could be killed if these tariffs stay in place. On top of that, tariffs are costing American businesses billions of dollars - $6.8 billion in the month of July alone according to Tariffs Hurt The Heartland. And that was before some of these new tariffs went into effect, so the amount will only get higher. It’s guaranteed that some, if not the majority, of that, will be passed on to consumers, including families right here in North Carolina. In other words, all that money that President Trump put back into the pockets of North Carolina families and small businesses with his tax cuts is now being taken back out by these tariffs. 

The tariffs are disproportionately hurting North Carolina farmers, most of whom are big supporters of the President. But as more and more of these farmers are losing their farms and watching their way of life evaporate because of tariffs, they are beginning to lose hope.

That lost hope can be seen in a disturbing article I read a few weeks ago about how the suicide rate of farmers has gone up lately. The article goes on to outline how at least some of that is attributed to the damage these tariffs are having. This is completely unacceptable and it can’t be ignored anymore. 

Every one of the Democrats running for President has talked about implementing terrible policies that would bankrupt our country and destroy our economy. So it’s more important than ever to make sure President Trump wins next November - and North Carolina will play a pivotal role in helping him secure victory just like we did in 2016. It’s one of the reasons the Republican National Committee (RNC) is holding their convention in Charlotte next year. And when you add on the fact that Senator Thom Tillis is up for re-election as well, it’s clear that North Carolina will be a hotbed of political action next year.  

And I can guarantee you that if we don’t get this tariff situation resolved, there are going to be a lot of unhappy farmers and small business owners who voted for President Trump in 2016 - and who might just be reconsidering their support this time around. For all of our sakes, I hope that we can stop the tariffs and get President Trump back in the White House for another four years.