Central Valley Rep. Jeff Denham Declares Support for Harmful Trade Wars

(Modesto, CA) — Rep. Jeff Denham, Republican incumbent in California’s 10th Congressional District, a district that relies heavily on agriculture and trade, declares support for the Trade Wars. He recently said in an interview that the retaliatory tariffs have had a negative “immediate impact” on his district, but the president’s trade policies would be helpful in the long term. “Nobody wants the tariffs,” Denham said, “but I think everybody I’ve talked to understands that there’ve been imbalances and unfairness that have happened in many of these countries.”

Mercury News talked to one farmer in the district, John Casazza, a 74-year-old walnut farmer and processor who expects to lose at least a million dollars on the massive vats of nuts that are sitting in his Modesto-area processing plant. He traveled to China to help develop the market for his product there, but now, he says, Chinese tariffs have dried up demand for walnuts and led to a steep drop in the price he earns for his crop.

“We’re looking at one of the saddest markets that we’ve seen in years,” said Casazza, a Republican whose family has been growing nuts here for four generations. “Even if they ended this thing tomorrow, the damage has been done.” Casazza has voted for Denham in the past, but he said he wouldn’t be supporting him this year, largely out of anger over the trade issue. “I think he’s Trump’s lapdog,” Casazza said.

Josh Harder put out the following statement:

“Denham’s support for this Trade War is a blow to local farmers, and it shows just how unfit he is to represent the Central Valley,” said Josh Harder. “Jeff Denham is showing voters who he really is--just another Washington politician who’s unwilling to stand up to his party, even when it hurts his local constituents.”

Background on the impact of Trump’s Trade Wars in the Central Valley:

- Almond farmers and processors support 104,000 jobs in the state, 97,000 of which are in the Central Valley alone.

- $28 billion of California’s $45 billion agricultural exports go to China, meaning the Trade Wars will have an enormous impact on areas like the Central Valley, which rely on agricultural exports.

- China, which buys the bulk of US soybean exports, has already responded to the Trade War with a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans.