Donald Trump’s ill-conceived bravado concerning America’s farming and industrial interests, when turned into policy, is leading America in the opposite direction of success.

It’s easy to be loud and boisterous and against everything on the campaign trail, but when turned into real life action, it is against America’s best financial interests.

He is eating away at our prosperity. Eventually all these small steps will lead us to a catastrophic economic event that will push us into an economic chasm that will be extremely difficult to pull out of. This calamity will be extremely bad for farming states such as California.

At the very beginning of his term, Trump went against the views and recommendations of the vast majority of world scientists, and to the dismay of world leaders pulled the U.S. out of the climate agreement. All this because in his heart he just knows that climate change is not true.

But as the climate heats up, farming states will become a barren waste land, with drought, fires and flooding as farm production plummets and world food production becomes an issue. Without American government participation our states and towns are continuing efforts against climate change along with other nations.

Then, he began to attack the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) pulling us out of the agreement and in so doing has alienated large numbers of farmers and related workers in California and other farm states. The agreement would have allowed western farmers to reach more customers in the Pacific Rim market. Estimates of gains for U.S. farmers and ranchers would have been $4.4 billion in added income, plus related transportation and port jobs for Americans.

It might have been wise for Trump to have discussed this with western farmers before proceeding. Fortunately for the world, but not for America, Canadian leader Trudeau recently revealed that his country and the remaining 10 members of the TTP have revised their trade deal after the U.S. withdrawal, and free trade will continue without American membership.

Trump has also mentioned the evils of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He appears unaware of the fact that over the past 20 years with NAFTA in force our nation’s farm exports have jumped from $8.9 billion to $38.6 billion. He is unaware of the fact that free trade in the long run is good for America and good for the world.

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi put it in perspective at the recent Davos meeting in Switzerland in his opening remarks when he said “protectionism is as dangerous as terrorism …”

He made his statements right after Trump approved U.S. tariffs on imports of solar equipment and washing machines. Without mentioning Trump, he went on to state, “Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization. The negative impact of this kind of mindset cannot be considered less dangerous than climate change.” He urged governments not to turn to isolationism. Trump appears to have no understanding of world history or the movement of American and world leaders during recent years to bring us all together in peace and prosperity.

Let the world move toward success and not a calamity. Without protectionism we can all enjoy South American grapes and fruits in the winter, and sell the same products in our summer months to South America. Free trade with no tariffs is good for farmers, ranchers, California and America.

Ken McCalip is a North County native. He can be reached at kennethmccalip@yahoo.com

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