tariffs

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the new trade deal with China will level the playing field with the U.S., but he urges trade negotiators to be firm as they work on Phase Two.

Ryan Rhoades is president of the Ohio Soybean Association. Although the ag benchmarks set out in the deal are high, he doesn't think american farmers will have a problem producing enough supply.
Nick Evans / WOSU

This week, President Donald Trump signed Phase One of a new trade agreement with China. The move represents a kind of truce between the world’s two largest economies after two years of escalating tariffs.

A new initial trade agreement between the United States and China signed Wednesday brings protections for intellectual property and eased regulations for U.S. exports. China is also setting an ambitious target of purchasing $200 billion in U.S. goods by 2021.

The agreement is bringing relief to Ohio’s soybean farmers, who rely on China to sell roughly one-third of their product.

Updated at 2:07 p.m. ET

A year and a half after launching his trade war against China, President Trump signed a partial truce on Wednesday.

"We mark more than just an agreement. We mark a sea change in international trade," Trump said during a White House signing ceremony. "At long last, Americans have a government that puts them first."

In 2019, the federal government delivered an extraordinary financial aid package to America's farmers. Farm subsidies jumped to their highest level in 14 years, most of them paid out without any action by Congress.

The money flowed to farmers like Robert Henry. When I visited in early July, many of his fields near New Madrid, Mo., had been flooded for months, preventing him from working in them. The soybeans that he did manage to grow had fallen in value; China wasn't buying them, in retaliation for the Trump administration's tariffs.

Gov. Mike DeWine talks to farmer Kris Swartz in Perrysburg on June 19, 2019.
Nick Evans / WOSU

It looks like 2019 could be the first year in a decade where Ohio loses jobs. Will 2020 provide better job prospects in the state?

President Trump on Tuesday raised the prospect of postponing a trade deal with China until after the 2020 election, shaking market confidence and sending stocks tumbling.

"A China trade deal is dependent on one thing — do I want to make it," Trump told reporters in London, where he is attending the NATO summit.

"In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right," he added.

Chickens on a farm.
Kate Brady / Flickr

Ohio poultry farmers could see business pick up now that China has lifted a ban on poultry imports from the U.S. 

President Trump says the U.S. and China are close to striking a mini trade agreement. But he offered no guarantees.

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, Trump downplayed the cost of his trade war, which has hurt farm exports and contributed to a slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing sector.

"The real cost would be if we did nothing," he said.

Trump offered few clues about the status of trade talks except to say, "We're close."

Updated at 5:06 PM ET

President Trump on Friday announced what he calls "Phase 1" of a larger trade deal with China.

As part of the deal, a tariff increase planned for next Tuesday will not be imposed. The U.S. was scheduled to raise tariffs on about $250 billion worth of goods on Oct. 15 from 25% to 30%.

The specifics of the deal are still being hammered out, and they haven't been signed yet. President Trump said he hopes that will happen in the next month or so. The leaders of the U.S. and China are expected to meet in November.

U.S. farmers, who have been hard hit by President Trump's trade wars, got some relief Wednesday, when Trump signed an interim trade deal with Japan.

The agreement calls for lower Japanese tariffs on U.S. farm exports such as beef and pork. It also locks in tariff-free digital commerce. But it does not address the president's threat to level punishing tariffs on imported cars from Japan. A top trade negotiator says Trump has no plans to act on that threat for now.

Jack Cochran, Garrett Hoffman and Sara Deakin are Ohio State students who attended the Farm Science Review's job fair.
Nick Evans / WOSU

The agricultural industry has taken a pummeling the past few years, with bad weather this spring compounding an ongoing trade war.

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.

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