Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) visited the Ohio State Fair over the weekend to mingle with hundreds of farmers from around the state, while news spread that President Donald Trump was moving forward with plans to increase tariffs on Chinese imports.
Portman said the trade war between the U.S. and China was a central topic of conversation. The tariffs on China have resulted in a steep drop in exports from Ohio farms, especially soy beans.
Portman says farmers were split on Trump's proposal to expand tariffs.
"So I think farmers agree that China has been a problem for a long time,” Portman said. “One of them said, 'It took a long time for us to get here, it's going to take us a long time to get out of that,’ and we're going to have to figure out other markets and other strategies.”
He says this highlights the urgency for the Trump administration to strike a deal with China.