A U.S. agricultural trade group says the tariffs announced by China are a tax on U.S. agriculture.  Farmers for Free Trade, a coalition formed to promote agricultural trade, says the tax stems from protectionist trade policies by the Trump administration.


Max Baucus, the organization's Co-Chair, says the new tariff's "are a drag" on farmers struggling to make ends meet with a down farm economy and declining exports.  However, Baucus warns, the move by China could be "the calm before the storm," suggesting that retaliation expected on agriculture "could be broader and deeper."  Baucus says it's time for the U.S. to “deescalate both the trade rhetoric and actions” that have led to farmers being targeted.


Agricultural economists have cautioned that any tariffs on U.S. agricultural products could disrupt exports to China.  U.S. farmers shipped nearly $20 billion of goods to China in 2017.




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