Governor Cooper asks Trump to back off on tariffs


Defending those NC farmers and producers at risk of economic collapse:

Cooper wrote a letter Thursday to the president telling him retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products by other countries resulting from the administration's increases stand to harm several North Carolina commodity exports.

Cooper mentioned specifically pork heading to Mexico and China and tobacco going to Turkey, China and the European Union. He says North Carolina exports of these products alone to the affected regions are $550 million annually. The governor says rising prices for all U.S. steel and aluminum also increases costs for anyone who uses them in their production processes.

Roy shouldn't have to do this, because this trade war Trump has gleefully engaged in is not a partisan issue. Congress could (easily) pass Veto-proof legislation to halt or limit this activity, but Ryan and McConnell are simply not responsible enough to take the proper steps. Here's more from Roy on what's at stake:

“I write on behalf of the State of North Carolina to ask you to stop the economic damage to our state from your escalating tariff battle with international trading partners,” said Gov. Cooper.
Governor Cooper expressed concern that North Carolina’s manufacturers could be harmed by rising costs of aluminum and steel and emphasized the damage already being done to the state’s agriculture industry – particularly pork and tobacco farmers.

“While North Carolinians support a level playing field for exports, the tariffs imposed by the US Administration and retaliation by trading partners seem to uniquely target agriculture goods that are the foundation of our state’s economy,” said Governor Cooper.

At risk are $210 million annually of pork exports to Mexico and China as well as $340 million in tobacco exports to Turkey, the European Union, and China. The North Carolina Farm Bureau has warned that damage to the agriculture industry is “the tip of the spear” in this trade war.

“Our state’s farmers, manufactures and technology industries remain worried, and rightly so. Please use your power to stop the losses from retaliatory tariffs and indirect effects to keep our state’s economy strong,” urged Governor Cooper.

The Governor shouldn't have to explain these things to the President, because in a normal (standard) administration, and entire flock of advisors would have already done so. But Trump is so far from normal, so disconnected with the reality that surrounds him, such reasoning is not possible.



Had a Planning Board meeting last night,

in which I once again had to deal with an angry group of neighbors fighting against a townhome development being built beside their street of single-family homes. I didn't have to vote this time (thank god), but I did have to referee.

Anyway, after the meeting, I had several conversations with folks on the sidewalk outside Town Hall. Which was (for the most part) a continuation of arguments put forward during the meeting. Like, "We should be more selective with developers, and find the good ones who will build what we want." Of course it doesn't work like that, but getting that point across to some is damned near impossible.

When one of them said, "It's not like we need to rush into anything, they'll still want to build there next year or later," I asked him if he was aware of what was going on with the tariffs. He thought it was no big deal, but when I told him it had already raised the costs of new home construction by some $8,000 each, and there might not be "any" construction going on next year or the year after, dude was speechless. Then he mumbled something about checking that out when he got home, and wandered off.

I've had more fun waiting for and then suffering through a root canal...

Clueless deplorable idiots

are the mainstay of Trump's base. The problem is, they're so wrapped up in Trump's bullshit that they can't even consider thinking for themselves.

Fortunately, that base is only 12 to 15 percent of US citizens eligible to vote. Unfortunately, another 40% of those eligible to vote are too busy painting their toenails to bother with getting informed.

In other words, we're pretty much fucked as a country.