Jason Pikes, a truck driver, stated that one of the perks of those who have his job is seeing the beautiful landscape of America, from sea to shining sea.
“I’ve driven for 39 years throughout 47 states,” he said, “seeing the beauty of America as you drive everywhere really makes you patriotic.”
But in the midst of Trump’s trade war, deliveries have slowed, depriving Pikes of his ability to “see America while getting paid.” However, the slowing business doesn’t quite bother him.
“I still do alright for myself, but I don’t feel too good carrying products from China, Mexico, Indonesia, or whatever,” he said. “I feel a bit like their slave, you know, like working long hours and being a bit sleepless just to help them sell and make money off of Americans.”
To Pikes, Trump’s election victory and trade wars were a wake-up call on politics.
“I’ve always consider myself patriotic, but looking back now, I think I was actually apolitical at the time,” Pikes admitted. “It wasn’t until Trump that I saw how much other countries were ripping us off on trade.”
“Before, I thought it always felt a bit odd hauling around a lot of ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in Japan’, but I could never put my finger on why so I just ignored my instincts,” he said.
“But after Trump, I kept on thinking, ‘Every time I’m carrying foreign goods, I’m increasing America’s trade deficit,'” he continued.
However, Pikes states that he still makes more than enough despite the tariffs. Despite concerns that Trump will devastate a global supply chain that hires truckers, 26 of the 29 states where trucking is the most common job has voted for Trump, with California, Oregon, and Vermont being exceptions. His policies, such as rebuilding infrastructure, lowering fuel prices, and raising the maximum hours a trucker can work a day, are popular in the industry.
“We truckers really support Trump. I don’t know a single one that doesn’t, despite the tariffs,” he said, “we’re benefiting from his deregulations and other stuff that isn’t making the news. He’s done us good, but it’s just overlooked.”
“We don’t think we’ll lose money, but if it happens, we don’t mind suffering a bit if it’s going to help Trump and help America’s trade deficit,” he said. “For me at least, I’m not a selfish guy, I don’t think anyone would call me that.”
“I’ve got a big heart, people call me a ‘gentle giant’ since I’m 6’8″,” Pikes explained, and stated that he always wondered about the third-world workers were like in sweatshops making products for him to ship.
“After hearing Trump, I learned to also worry more about the American workers who lost their jobs due being ripped off around the world instead,” he said. “I can’t worry about others when our own folks are in trouble, especially when they’re the victims.”
Finally, he emphasized Trump in stating that the end goal of the tariffs is fair trade.
“They got to trade fair and square, and know that’s why we tariff them. I don’t mind hauling foreign goods as long as they play fairly,” he said. “But they haven’t and Trump’s right about them not buying enough American goods.”
“We truckers want to haul more American goods around,” Pikes said, “I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s gonna happen with Trump’s help.”