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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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@mimi0000 wrote:

Who to blame?  Over and over again we point to Trump and  don't include his Republican enablers.   He is mentally ill but what about them?

  


The Republicans won't stand up against him and they are just as much to blame as tRump is, so are the ignorant that voted tRump into the White House.


"The only thing that man learns from history is that man learns nothing from history."
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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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Let's see...

trump creates a problem. 
trump lies as to why this will help and not hurt our Country, and farmers. 
trump creates welfare program to make up for his mess. 
Program distributed in secret. 
Program rewards larger businesses and ignores smaller operations. 
Program even benefits foreign businesses. 
Program distribution has political influence and overtones. 
Program produces winners and losers, versus a focus on all winning. 
America is left with another trump mess to clean up and rebuild. 

Anyone else see a trend with trump policies? He has to go, the sooner the better. 

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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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Who to blame?  Over and over again we point to Trump and  don't include his Republican enablers.   He is mentally ill but what about them?

  

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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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@LydiaN586309 wrote:

So the poor misguided farmers who believed in and voted for The King of Lies, have been the upfront and center victims of Trump's policies.  Many farmers have found themselves bankrupt or subsiding on the payouts/payoffs given by the administration in a vailed effort to keep these voters in his camp and on his side. 

 

Basically, Trump's trade wars have proved stupid and fruitless.  And these USDA payments say "To heck with the budget. Let's just print more money!"  But the saddest part to all of this is the fact that despite many farmers having been put out of business and others barely hanging on, the vast majority of them still, even now, hold out hope that Trump will one day be the man he told them he'd be and not the vile and incompetent reality we all see day after day.

 

Here we have another group--the farmers--who (much like the coal miners) have and are suffering at the hand of their so-called saviour.  They rolled the Trump dice and came up craps.  So in essence, they did it to themselves.


It's been repeatedly shown how tRump's trade war has hurt American Farmers and the American consumers. The Washington Republicans will not stand up to tRump so the American voters will have to.

 

BLUE WAVE IN 2020 !!!!!


"The only thing that man learns from history is that man learns nothing from history."
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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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So the poor misguided farmers who believed in and voted for The King of Lies, have been the upfront and center victims of Trump's policies.  Many farmers have found themselves bankrupt or subsiding on the payouts/payoffs given by the administration in a vailed effort to keep these voters in his camp and on his side. 

 

Basically, Trump's trade wars have proved stupid and fruitless.  And these USDA payments say "To heck with the budget. Let's just print more money!"  But the saddest part to all of this is the fact that despite many farmers having been put out of business and others barely hanging on, the vast majority of them still, even now, hold out hope that Trump will one day be the man he told them he'd be and not the vile and incompetent reality we all see day after day.

 

Here we have another group--the farmers--who (much like the coal miners) have and are suffering at the hand of their so-called saviour.  They rolled the Trump dice and came up craps.  So in essence, they did it to themselves.

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Re: tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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The following words contained in the article within the link I provided touches on why I think that Maine received no help for their wild blueberry industry:

 

“The USDA offices that did the calculations are careful professionals, but somewhere these decisions are influenced by a political conversation,” Dan Sumner, director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, said. “This is not new to this administration. Commodity organizations come to Washington and say ‘if you want to make our growers the least unhappy, here’s how you do that. Unfortunately, that means an industry that isn’t actively organized in Washington gets passed over.”

 

Maine voted for Hillary in the 2016 election .......... does that have anything to do with this?  I believe so, there is no other explanation.


"The only thing that man learns from history is that man learns nothing from history."
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“We're all basically guessing as to why certain crops were included and others weren't,” said Veronica Nigh, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“There’s no transparency and no accountability,” said Joshua Sewell, senior policy analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a bipartisan D.C. budget watchdog group. “When you look at the trade war aid, you’ve essentially produced a shadow farm bill with no debate and no Congressional input. It was just the Secretary of Agriculture deciding how to do it.”

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-s-trade-war-squeezes-juice-out-maine-s-wild-n1091941

 

Who knows? It's not like money flowed like wine into red states and barely trickled into blue states. I haven't researched it because it's Thanksgiving and I'm taking a lazy day, but that can't be right. Our Dear Leader would never do that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People are dying who have never died before.
Donald J. Trump 3/18/2020
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tRump's Trade War Ends Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry

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Trump’s trade war squeezes the juice out of Maine’s wild blueberry business

Growers of wild blueberries have been forced to give up generations-old fields, while cranberry farmers now benefit from trade-war bailout money.

 

Blueberry plants in Columbia Falls, Maine, in October. (Sarah Rice / for NBC News)

Around 6 o’clock on a cool summer morning in Calais, Maine, Greg Bridges drove past his fields of wild blueberries, debating whether to give up on his family farm.

Occasionally, he would park his truck and kneel in the dew to check his crop. About 30,000 pounds of wild blueberries were quickly ripening despite a very wet summer. 

Bridges didn’t yet know the 2019 price of wild blueberries, but he guessed it wouldn’t be good. Exports to China had nearly vanished in President Donald Trump’s trade war, making an already precarious existence more difficult. 

He had hoped wild blueberry growers would qualify for the administration’s subsidies for farmers who had been hurt by the trade war. But a week earlier, he learned the U.S. Department of Agriculture had declined the industry’s request. That summer morning, Bridges — a third-generation farmer, and a former marketing chairman for the Wild Blueberry Association of North America — drove back to his house and told his family he was giving up.

 

“You have to read the writing on the wall,” Bridges said. “It’s very disheartening when you put your heart and soul into something that’s basically ruined because of trade politics.”

 

 

 
Greg Bridges sits in 100-acre wild blueberry field that he just sold in Charlotte, Maine. (Sarah Rice / for NBC News)

Greg Bridges sits in a 100-acre wild blueberry field that he just sold in Charlotte, Maine. (Sarah Rice / for NBC News)

 

In Maine, where blueberries have been an important export since before the Civil War, the trade war has squeezed the juice out of an iconic state industry. First, the trade war cost wild berry farmers a growing market in China, as China imposed gradually increasing tariffs on frozen fruit in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Then none of the Trump administration’s trade-war bailout money reached Maine farmers.

A thousand miles west, meanwhile, a different berry has had much better luck. In Eagle River, Wisconsin, Dave Nokomis has just finished harvesting his cranberries. As usual, he flooded his marshes with water to create a bumpy sea of floating berries. 

In August, Lake Nokomis Cranberries received a direct payment of $125,000 from the USDA. The farm will likely get another $125,000 in the next two months. It’s enough for Nokomis to weather the damage the trade war has done to cranberry sales in China. 

“As soon as we heard even the faintest thing about it,” Nokomis said, “we applied immediately.”

The U.S. trade war with China has devastated many farmers and ranchers who were crucial to Trump’s election. Last July, Trump asked Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to craft a short-term solution — a bailout for affected farmers. The program, now in its second year, is on track to pay $24.5 billion directly into farmers’ hands by January. After that, the program will be out of money and need a third round of funding to continue in 2020.

 

But not all crops are created equal. Wild blueberry farmers didn’t make the list for direct subsidies, even after Maine’s state government and entire congressional representation went to bat for them. Instead, wild blueberry farmers are eligible for money from a much smaller program that purchases surplus commodities — but all of last year’s funds went to a single, Canadian-owned company operating in Maine.

 

A USDA official told NBC News there wasn’t a “specific” or “exact formula” for determining which crops win the lottery and which don’t. Experts contend the USDA’s process has not been transparent.

“We're all basically guessing as to why certain crops were included and others weren't,” said Veronica Nigh, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“There’s no transparency and no accountability,” said Joshua Sewell, senior policy analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a bipartisan D.C. budget watchdog group. “When you look at the trade war aid, you’ve essentially produced a shadow farm bill with no debate and no Congressional input. It was just the Secretary of Agriculture deciding how to do it.”

This November, Maine’s ruby-red blueberry barrens are freckled with rotting fruit, which should have been picked months ago. Because of bad weather, falling domestic prices and the trade war, more and more farmers like Greg Bridges are giving up. Since 2016, nearly 1 in 5 wild blueberry acres has gone unharvested. The harvest has fallen by half — from 102 million pounds to 50 million pounds. 

“We just keep losing everything,” said farmer Leon Perry. “Wild blueberries were everything to us.”

 

Greg Bridges shows the difference in the pigment left on his hands from wild blueberries, top, and cultivated blueberries. Wild blueberries have two times the antioxidants and a lot of that is found in the pigment. (Sarah Rice / for NBC News)

‘Wild blueberries are better’ 

Maine is the only state that produces wild blueberries commercially, thanks to its highly acidic soil. Proud Mainers say regular blueberries just can’t compare. 

“All blueberries are good, but wild blueberries are better,” Shannon Lion, who has harvested wild blueberries for 45 years, said.

A regular blueberry is big and blue with a gray-green interior. A wild blueberry is more like a tiny red plum, with deep magenta juices. They are highly perishable and almost always sold frozen.

One of the few fruits native to North America, wild blueberries have never been planted — just nurtured where found. A single plant can be centuries old and extend the length of a football field, uniting hundreds of bushes via an underground stem network.

The wild blueberry plant is tenacious. But the wild blueberry industry, much like the fruit itself, is small and fragile.

Overproduction began driving the price of berries down, with total crop valuation falling from $63 million to $18 million between 2014 and 2017. Canada started producing more wild blueberries than ever. And now regular blueberries are moving into the frozen foods aisle — wild blueberry turf. 

 

All these factors convinced the U.S. wild blueberry industry to look to China for help.

“Our reasoning was everyone’s reasoning: Here are 1.3 billion people in a market that just continues to open up,” said Patricia Kontur, export program director at the Old Town, Maine-based U.S. Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

Kontur says she took dozens of trips to China in recent years, organizing trade shows, education initiatives and chef trainings featuring recipes like “Szechuan Crispy Duck with Chinese Wild Blueberry Sauce.” Over half of her export budget targeted Chinese consumers, she said. 

It was working. The American crop caught on in China — marketed as a luxury superfruit, good for the brain and good for eyesight, said Dr. Dave Creech, a horticulturist at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.

Creech even attended an international blueberry beauty pageant in Yichun, China, where thousands of Chinese spectators applauded events like the “blueberry bikini contest” and the “eating blueberries elegantly” contest, staged in front of a gigantic wild blueberry sculpture. 

Exports to China quadrupled in three years — jumping from 1 percent to 7 percent of total U.S. wild blueberry exports by 2017. Leaders say they were expecting the floodgates to open in 2018. Instead, the industry found itself caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war.

“We had made a major investment in the market and then the market more or less crashed,” Kontur said. “Businesses go out of business when it crashes like that.”

China first imposed tariffs on frozen fruit in April 2018 in response to the first big round of Trump administration tariffs on Chinese imports. China increased the tariffs in June and September 2019, each time after hikes in U.S. tariffs.

Today, frozen wild blueberries face an 80 percent tariff in China. Exports have plummeted from $2.5 million in 2017 to just $61,000 this year as of September.

MUCH MORE AT LINK:

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-s-trade-war-squeezes-juice-out-maine-s-wild-n1091941


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