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tariffs

Farmers in the rural Midwest say they are struggling because of President Trump's ongoing trade war and a recent decision the president made on renewable fuels made from corn and soybeans that benefits the oil industry.

"We're tightening our belt," farmer Aaron Lehman says while driving his tractor down a rural road near his farm north of Des Moines, Iowa. "We're talking to our lenders, our landlords [and] our input suppliers."

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks at a Culinary Union hall Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas.
John Locher / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is doubling down on his criticism of President Trump’s tariffs.

When the White House decided to levy tariffs on goods from China, U.S. leaders were divided on whether a prolonged trade dispute was a wise course of action.

Now, so is Beijing.

Updated at 4:26 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is acting as a cheering section for the U.S. economy. And at least on Monday, investors were cheering along. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 250 points or 1%. The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% and the Nasdaq was up 1.35%.

President Trump and his team are downplaying warnings of slower economic growth, despite signals from the bond market that a recession could be looming. At the same time, the president is also calling on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again to help boost growth.

Wikipedia

While farm bankruptcies around the country are rising, Ohio’s rate is still the lowest in the Midwest. 

The Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator Monday, after Beijing allowed its currency to fall to an 11-year low. The tit-for-tat moves mark the latest escalation in the two countries' trade war, which triggered a sharp sell-off on Wall Street.

While President Trump has long accused China of tinkering with its currency to gain an unfair advantage on world markets, this is the first time in a quarter century the U.S. has formally accused Beijing of currency manipulation.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
John Minchillo / Associated Press

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. 

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Stocks continue to tumble around the world Monday after China allowed its currency to slide, in the latest sign of economic tensions between Beijing and Washington.

After falling more than 900 points earlier in the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 767 points, a drop of 2.9%. The blue chip index has fallen more than 6% from last month's all-time high, while the S&P 500 index lost ground for the sixth day in a row.

Technology stocks such as Apple and IBM were hit especially hard.

Higher prices will be coming to stores this fall, retailers warn, if President Trump follows through with his threat to slap new tariffs on Chinese imports.

The White House pressed the tariff threat on Friday, even as Trump announced a new agreement aimed at boosting beef exports to Europe. A day earlier, Trump threatened to set a new 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of products imported from China.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Thursday that the United States will impose a new 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of products imported from China, saying Beijing had broken some of the promises it made in trade negotiations.

The new tariffs, which are set to take effect Sept. 1, represent another ratcheting up in trade tensions between the countries and sent stocks falling sharply.

No deal yet.

The brief trade talks in Shanghai this week between top U.S. and Chinese officials were "constructive," the White House said Wednesday, adding that negotiations are expected to pick up again in Washington, D.C., in early September.

"The two sides discussed topics such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture," the White House said in a short statement. It said China pledged to buy more U.S. farm goods.

Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET

U.S. economic growth fell to a 2.1% annual rate in the second quarter — down from a 3.1% pace in the first three months of 2019, the Commerce Department said. But growth came in slightly stronger than many analysts had expected.

If you're caught in a trade war, it's good to be a farmer.

Lots of American companies have lost sales since the Trump administration and China embarked on the current cycle of tariff-raising and retaliation. Few, if any, have been compensated as handsomely as farmers.

Updated at 11:04 a.m. ET

For Douglas Clark, the darkest part of working for Nike in the 1980s was watching American shoe manufacturing "evaporate" in the Northeast in a mass exodus to Asia in pursuit of cheaper labor.

"As a true Yankee — and my father was a Colonial historian — you know, it was heartbreaking," he said.

A group of more than 600 companies and trade associations have signed a letter to the president asking him to end the trade war with China and to drop tariffs.

Retail giants like Walmart, Target, Macy's and Gap wrote that they are worried tariffs will lead to job loss and will harm consumers and the U.S. economy.

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