STATE CENTER, Iowa — “I’m not concerned right now,” said Randy Hilleman of Hilldale Pork. “I think we’ll have to see how it plays out.”
Hilleman raises hogs at his farm in State Center and has been a pork producer for half a century. He said he likes the fact that President Trump is shaking things up in Washington because America doing business as usual with other countries wasn’t working.
“You can’t ever have everything just status quo,” said Hilleman. “We’ve been importing a lot of everything from China and some of the quality of the stuff isn’t the best. But you can’t have the same agreement just go on and on and on and let everything just go.”
While some may fear the U.S. is entering a trade war with China, Hilleman looks at President Trump’s tactics as practicing the art of the deal.
“It’s kind of like negotiating or nobody’s played their last card yet,” said Hilleman. “So it’s kind of like a card game: somebody’s bluffing a little maybe and maybe thinking they have a higher hand, and so you gotta start somewhere.”
Hilleman was willing to bet on the Trump card in the 2016 election because he liked the idea of a businessman in the Oval Office. While he doesn’t like the fact that Beijing is imposing a 25% tariff on U.S. pork, he says negotiations between America and China are in their infancy. Plus, this is exactly what he voted for.
“I just don’t like how Washington’s been run,” said Hilleman. “That’s why I voted for Trump, because I want somebody in there that’s a businessman and not a politician. And I think it might hurt us in the short term, but I think in the long run that it’ll be better.”