Hey Mr. Juncker, About That Bean Order


Trump claims to have worked out a soybean deal with the EU. It was a lie. Let's now look at kidney beans.

Trump's tariff battle is shaking Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley Bean Co., and rippling through to its clients, vendors and customers. The result: Kidney Beans Piled to the Rafters.

MENOMONIE, Wis.—After the U.S. slapped tariffs on European steel and aluminum in June, Europe hit back with a tax that, among other things, made American kidney beans 25% more expensive in Europe.

Now, Cindy Brown is running out of room to store kidney beans. One-ton bags of them cover the floors in her cavernous warehouses. Smaller sacks are piled on wood-pallet shelves. Beans fill tall steel bins that dot the grounds. Chippewa Valley Bean Co. had been on track to ship to Europe 60% of its beans traded internationally this year, worth $25 million. Now, “we’re just sitting on our hands,” said Ms. Brown, president of the family company.

Ms. Brown, Chippewa Valley’s president, said the company last month shipped nearly 40% less than what is typical for this time of year. She said 80 shipping containers’ worth of kidney beans, valued at a total of $2 million, are stuck in its warehouses as orders from Europe dry up.

Chippewa Valley handles one in four dark red kidney beans traded internationally, according to Randy Fairman, an agricultural consultant who specializes in dry beans. “If the tariffs hold, the near-term impact will be devastating to small businesses both in the U.S. and the EU,” Mr. Fairman said. “There is no place in the supply chain where a 25% tariff could be absorbed.”

Mercy Me, a Kidney Bean Glut

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What is a Glut?

About that Bean Order

Lighthizer: Regarding Trump's meeting with Juncker: “Our view is that we are negotiating about agriculture, period,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a Senate committee.

Juncker: The U.S. “heavily insisted to insert the whole field of agricultural products. We refused that because I don’t have a mandate and that’s a very sensitive issue in Europe,” Mr. Juncker told reporters right after the meeting.


There was no deal to do anything but stop the escalation of more tariffs. For discussion, please see Trump's Lies Won't Make Farmers Great Again: There Was No Deal on Agriculture.

Meanwhile, a glut of beans, all kinds, is stacking up.

Growing List of Companies Complaining

It's safe to add the Chippewa Bean Company to the Growing List of Companies and Organizations Complaining About Tariffs

Political Backlash

Things are so bad, five Republican Senators openly complain about Trump's policies. House Rep Mark Sanford called it "nightmare policy". For discussion, please see Republican "Nightmare".

My assessment that a Tariff Backlash Could Cost Republicans the Senate stands. For that to happen, the economy needs to slow and tariff madness continue, but both are possible if not likely.

Republicans losing the House over this is arguably more likely.

Overall Trade Assessment

US Trade Policy: Not Only are We Stupid, We are Hypocrites.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock​

Comments (17)
No. 1-8

F@ck all this winning!


For every doom and gloom story you post there is a happy ending story. I could match you all day long. The better question is who are people going to think is trying to help or hurt them at the voting booth.

Democrats want open borders, floods of illegals voting and higher taxes. And back to the status quo of shipping jobs overseas.

Somehow, beans in a warehouse just doesn't get the wow factor.


"European Union representatives told me that they would start buying soybeans from our great farmers immediately. Also, they will be buying vast amounts of LNG!"

Wow! Ain't that something! All three representatives will be be buying Soybeans from "us!" And LNG as well!

Well, maybe two of them may. Given that this is now serious, Juncker, true to form, of course lied.....


Trump should offer to pay the tariffs on kidney beans from the the money US gets from the tariffs on steel. The tariff on kidney beans by EU will lead to increase in prices for kidney beans in EU leading to angry consumers mad at EU. If part of these kidney beans were being sold to UK then once Brexit is in force there will be no more tariffs on those kidney beans if UK has a pure NO deal Brexit from bureaucratic monstrosity that is EU.


Mish - you continue to mistake tactics for policy... none of this tariff talk is real/permanent, and the leaked details of any 'deals' are spurious at best. Nothing Trump says can be taken at face value - it's all for effect. Wait for the Final Act before writing a review of the play, FFS.


In trade wars, the losses always outweigh the gains. The same thing happened when Bush put in his steel tariffs. Eventually the US drops their tariffs after they have inflicted too much pain on the American economy. The President then claims “mission accomplished” as if it was some kind of victory.


The same old story... Government picking winners and losers, another version of the Public-Private partnership... and one way or another it is going to cost Joe Taxpayer in more expensive items, subsidies, welfare for those who lose jobs, the list is long,,,,


"Trump's tariff battle is shaking Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley Bean Co."

60,000 American factories have closed, shaking the lives of millions of Americans.

Global Economics