“He has not affected our business in a positive way,” said one truck driver who asked to be quoted anonymously for fear their small business might suffer. “He’s killing our business. If consumers aren’t buying, then there is no demand. This really isn’t about my political leanings — it’s pure business.”

Trump’s tax reworking in 2017 led to many truck drivers having to pay hundreds in taxes this year, thanks to a change in per-diem laws. Dennis Bridges, an accountant who specializes in doing taxes for truckers, told Mother Jones in April that 75% of his clients saw an unusually large tax payment, and about 20% had to fork over more than $5,000.

That might’ve been bearable in 2018, when trucking capacity was tight, the industry was raking in cash, and truckers saw their pay jump. But now the trucking “bloodbath,” as Coffman and other truckers describe current transportation conditions, has meant low rates and low pay for truckers. Trucking has been in a recession since late 2018…

“The truth about the rates being so low is Trump’s trade policies,” JL Sims, a truck driver, told Business Insider. “Manufacturers are scared. Last month’s manufacturing jobs numbers finally began to reflect the reduced production. Everyone looks at the unemployment rate and thinks, mistakenly, that the economy is in great shape. Manufacturing tells the real story.”