Kim Olson, Democratic Nominee for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Condemns New Tariffs
(Austin, Texas) --- Kim Olson, Democratic nominee for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, has issued a statement in opposition to the new tariffs announced June 15, 2018.
According to her campaign, farmers in Texas and throughout the United States are now in the crosshairs, as what initially was dismissed as a war of words is now on track to become a real trade war. President Trump today announced new 25 percent tariffs on certain Chinese goods, to take effect on July 6, 2018, with more to come. China has already promised retaliatory tariffs, and agricultural products will likely be among the strategically targeted items. Most lawmakers and business interests agree that the U.S. needs to address intellectual property issues and trade imbalances, but many in government and the private sector oppose tariffs as a means of achieving stronger, more equitable trade relationships.
“This is not a good approach to trade,” said Kim Olson, Colonel, United States Air Force, retired. “Tariffs - both real and threatened - cause uncertainty in the marketplace, which hurts our farmers. As a fourth generation farmer, I know this firsthand. Further, I’ve also been in combat, and the way this administration is using tariffs is like randomly dropping bombs with no clear battle plan, and that’s no way to win a war.”
Soybean producers are expected to be the hardest hit by new Chinese tariffs, although some of the larger segments of agriculture in Texas, such as beef, cotton, and sorghum, are also probable targets. Tariffs previously announced on steel and aluminum from Mexico, Canada, and the E.U. are drawing retaliation and raising costs for goods necessary for farm production, such as tractors, irrigation pipes, and storage buildings. The exchange of threats has also weakened the position of U.S. trading firms in international markets, opening the door for foreign producers to move into new markets.
“At a time when farm income is at the lowest levels in over a decade, the Administration’s actions are not only creating more uncertainty in international markets, but are causing increases in production costs and allowing other countries to move right into the space formerly occupied by U.S. producers,” continued Ms. Olson.
Ms. Olson also noted that Sid Miller, the current commissioner, touted as “Trump’s Man in Texas” is not using that White House connection to protect Texas farmers’ interests.
“Mr. Miller is staying quiet while Texas farmers’ situations continue to devolve,” said Ms. Olson. “Instead of shining a light on the interests of our state’s agriculture sector, he seems to be hiding under a bushel.”
Ms. Olson stated that her approach would include an analysis of data showing the potential impact on farmers, sharing information with farmers and farm advocates and encouraging them to reach out to lawmakers, and, ultimately, “putting on my boots and kicking in the door.”
About Kim Olson
Kim Olson, Colonel, United States Air Force, retired, is the Democratic nominee for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. As a 25-year veteran of the Air Force, Kim was a part of the first generation of female military pilots, and commanded troops in several combat zones, including Iraq. After the Air Force, Kim volunteered with the Texas State Guard for three years as Director of IT and personnel systems; worked as HR director with Dallas ISD; and was President of Grace After Fire. Kim was a 2014 inductee into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. She is a fourth-generation farmer, and on her farm in Palo Pinto County, Kim raises vegetables, keeps bees, and cultivates native grasses. Kim is dedicated to a sustainable future for agriculture, improving domestic and export markets for our state’s farmers and ranchers, promoting rural development, and ensuring access to healthy food for all Texans. For more information, please visitwww.votekimolson.org, or follow onFacebook,Twitter, andInstagram.