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Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers meet with Sen. Johnson to talk improving economy

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Despite President Donald Trump touting saying farmers were "over the hump" two weeks ago in Wisconsin, Danny Gerrits at Cozy Nook farm says things are rough.

"We're in it for the cows and the lifestyle," Gerrits said. "And if we were in it for the money, we would have been out a long time ago."

Sen Ron Johsnon, R-WI, held round tables with state farmers and manufacturers Friday to talk about the effects of the trade war.

"They're in a tough position right now," Johnson said. "Prices have already been depressed, and the tariffs and the retaliation have made it just that much worse."

Johnson says lowering barriers to sell to other countries will help farmers, and everyone would get a boost from ending uncertainty caused by trade wars.

"You want stability and certainy," Johnson said.

The proposed USMCA agreement would require 75-percent of cars to be made in North America to avoid tariffs.

TLX technologies makes advanced parts for companies from Coke to Ford. CEO Neil Karolek says Wisconsin manufacturing is doing OK, but the new agreement would help.

"Some of the manufactured components will come back here," Karolek said. "A lot will still go to Mexico."

Farmers tell us the bottom line is something needs to change.

"It's not a very easy life right now,"  Gerrits said.

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