China

Ohio Farmers Brace For Escalating Trade War

Aug 9, 2018
tractor in farm field
Jean Beaufort / Public Domain Pictures

The trade war that's already squeezing Ohio farmers is ratcheting up another notch.

In response to the Trump administration announcing $16 billion in new tariffs against China on Tuesday, Chinese trade officials on Wednesday promised to retaliate with their own tariffs.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

China has announced a plan to impose new tariffs on $60 billion of American goods, in retaliation for the latest tariff threats from the Trump administration.

Earlier this week, the White House said it was considering boosting tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, raising those tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent. That particular set of tariffs has not yet taken effect.

House Republicans confronted two of President Trump's top economic advisers on trade on Thursday, while also breathing a sigh of relief after the administration's decision to begin easing tensions with Europe a day earlier.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Despite his backing of tariffs against China, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is holding off his support of President Donald Trump’s plan to give struggling farmers $12 billion in aid.

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he would like to see an end to trade disputes with China, but says Trump’s decision to provide $12 billion in subsidies to American farmers might be a good short-term solution to trade shortfalls.

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on every product imported from China, dialing up the pressure in the growing trade dispute between the world's two economic superpowers.

In an interview with CNBC broadcast this morning, Trump said, "We're down a tremendous amount," referring to the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China. "I'm ready to go to 500."

A trade war with China, the European Union and other trading partners is casting some doubts about the U.S. economic future, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

And the longer it goes, the more potential harm it could cause, Powell told the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing about the Fed's monetary policy and the economy.

China has filed a case with the World Trade Organization against the U.S. to protest the Trump administration's plan to put new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

China's Ministry of Commerce announced it is pursuing legal remedy against the U.S. in a brief statement on its website — the latest in an escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Updated at 2:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The Trump administration has published a preliminary list of additional Chinese products that could be targeted with tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies. The list covers some $200 billion in Chinese exports that could be hit by a 10 percent tariff. It's an extensive list of over 6,000 goods that include seafood, propane and toilet paper, among many other things.

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