Swift retaliation is expected against U.S. farm goods, after President Trump announced Friday that a 25-percent tariff on $50 billion in technology goods from China starts on July 6th.  “Farmers for Free Trade” Executive Director Brian Kuehl said the threat of heavy retaliatory tariffs by China on U.S. farm exports isn’t theoretical anymore, it’s downright scary.


“This is a classic trade war.  China has already indicated they will immediately retaliate, they’ll retaliate against U.S. beef.  They’ll retaliate against U.S. soybeans, against, corn, so some major commodities will likely get hit.”


China, Canada, Mexico, and the EU have already struck back over U.S. steel tariffs.  President Trump is also considering new duties on imported cars and threatens to triple the latest tariffs on Chinese technology if Beijing retaliates again.  Kuehl said it’s the farmers who will suffer, on both lower export sales and higher import costs for steel, passed along in tractors, combines and grain bins.


Some have called for a government ‘rescue’ package.


“A rescue package is a short-term fix, the problem is we’re doing long-term damage.  If our soybeans cost more in China, Brazil will start to establish contracts and markets, if our beef costs more in China, Australia will start to establish contracts and market.”


Kuehl argues for a coalition maximum-pressure-approach to Chinese trade misbehavior, instead of a unilateral U.S. vs. China approach.  Instead, Kuehl complains the president is whacking friendly trading partners he needs, and US farmers are being squeezed, in return.



If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekradio.com

More From PNW Ag Network