‘What [Trump] did last night was outlandish. Enough is enough. Let’s sit down and talk. Let’s not threaten any more’

President Donald Trump has promised to shield farmers from the sting of China’s trade retaliation, but that embattled portion of Trump’s rural base says they just want to sell on the open market, without tariffs slapped on their products amid escalating tensions.

In interviews with POLITICO this week, several farmers across the country said they don’t want a trade war and they want to avoid having their income tied to government support to make up for losses created by one.

“We want our living to come from the marketplace,” said Mark Recker, a corn and soybean farmer in northeast Iowa.

But the threat of a trade war now looms as declining farm incomes have already forced farmers to delay major equipment purchases, diversify into other activities like livestock or even take second jobs.