Trump's trade policies have left a void that's hurting American agriculture, boosting exports in rival nations

Trump is hurting U.S. pork producers
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Congress is on its August break and President Trump's at a golf resort in New Jersey, but U.S. businesses are still grappling with the topsy-turvy first 200 days of Trump's presidency, yearning for a little predictability. "Corporate uncertainty about whether the Trump administration will be able to deliver on numerous promises — including tax cuts, health care, a China crackdown, and infrastructure — has forced many companies to put important hiring and investment decisions on hold," The Washington Post reports. But Trump's trade policies are causing perhaps the most unease.

Trump's stalled plan to impose tariffs on steel imports has the U.S. steel industry on tenterhooks, homebuilders are reeling from a spike in lumber prices they attribute to Trump's soft-lumber dispute with Canada, and American agricultural industry is upset that Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. "TPP was fantastic," Kent Bacus at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association tells The New York Times. "When you walk away from it without a meaningful alternative, that causes a lot of alarm in the beef industry." In Japan, for example, U.S. beef now faces 50 percent tariffs, versus 9 percent under TPP.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.