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Why isn’t Denham protecting farmers?
letter to editor

 Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The 209 Business Journal accurately explained the hardships that will be brought to the San Joaquin Valley and especially to the Central Valley and Congressional District 10. It starts by saying that “Farmers nationwide are feeling the effects of new tariffs....but California growers have been hit hardest. The tariffs greatly impact California’s almond, walnut, wine, cherry, and other commodities, increasing the cost of exportation, depressing the prices of future farm futures and harming trade relationships that have taken decades to develop.”  Thanks for being a strong advocate for local farmers Jeff Denham.
My question is “What is Denham’s stand on Trump’s policies that will have strong impacts on communities here in District 10?”  He has been absent at candidate forums except for those where he controls the audience and the dialog.
Why is he hiding?  He says he is an almond farmer.  What has he done to protect almond farmers who, according to the article in the Business Journal, “could face an additional $28 million in duties?”  How does he explain his silence on the “$4 million increase on duties to walnuts, $99 million in potential duties to pistachios, and wine which would receive $29 million in additional duties as well and California’s oranges, grapes, and apples which could face up to $8 million in potential additional duties?”  
The article also points out the effects it will have “When you think about all the many businesses and their employees who (harvest) process, pack, sell and transport farm products...they all benefit from a robust market made possible by free trade.”  The article goes on to point out that “Twenty percent of farm revenue nationwide comes from trade. If you take that away from any farm - it doesn’t matter how well a farm is doing - if you take 20 percent of the revenue off the table, that farm is going to go under.”   Mostly these will be the smaller independent farmers, not the corporate farms. What has Jeff Denham done to protect small farmers?
A second important article in the 209 Business Report: “Valley continues drop in employment growth,” points out that “Tariffs along with retaliatory effects will have a disproportionate impact of Valley’s farm-related exports and the purchasing power of the region’s consumers due to higher prices of retail goods related to the steel industry.”  The cost of appliances like refrigerators, stoves, dish washers, microwave ovens, and most likely autos, will increase dramatically.  All of these added costs will negatively affect the local consumer.  What has Jeff Denham done to protect consumers in District 10 from these higher costs?
Stanislaus State Professor of Business Gokce Soydemir in another article in the Business Journal made the following important points about Trump’s tariff war.  He says that “Tariff wars are very dangerous things in the long run. These were the lessons of the first and second world wars...if currency wars aren’t resolved, they lead to tariff wars. If tariff wars aren’t resolved they lead to physical wars.”  This should be a sober warning to all Americans.  Why have we heard no strong voice in Washington from Congressman Denham about these serious and dangerous effects of tariffs on our farming community and the rest of his constituents?  My guess is that he thinks he has his next election in the bag.  Let’s elect a representative who will be a stronger representative for all of us; someone who is not afraid to run on his record and who will  stand in front of us and answer the legitimate questions we have about the issues.

Mike Killingsworth