This morning, President Trump announced his plans to move forward with Section 301 tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports. The first round, $34 billion in tariffs, would go into effect July 6, 2018. The remaining tariffs are expected to be implemented at a later date by the U.S. Trade Representative.
Following the announcement, China’s Ministry of Commerce said they would swiftly respond with tariffs of “equal scale, equal intensity.” The tariffs are expected to hit U.S. ag products, but China’s full list is not yet known.
The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association are opposed to the tariffs because they disrupt trade policy and add fuel to an emerging trade war.
“Nebraska corn farmers are already struggling to break even due to low corn prices, but these tariffs aren’t hurting just farmers” said David Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from St. Edward. “More than 1 million American jobs are supported by U.S. ag exports alone. A trade war with China will deeply impact U.S. farmers, U.S. workers and U.S. consumers.”
China has already responded to steel and aluminum tariffs implemented by the U.S. government in March, which included U.S. ethanol (tariffed at 15 percent) and U.S. pork (at 25 percent). China’s counter to today’s U.S. announcement includes a list of 106 categories of imported items facing 25 percent tariffs. These are scheduled to take effect once the U.S. policy is implemented.
“Agriculture is a U.S. trade champion and the president’s tariffs have the potential to hurt our country’s farmers” said Dan Wesley, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Morse Bluff. “Rural America was a strong supporter of President Trump during his campaign due to his commitment to farmers. We want to work with President Trump to help him understand the damage the tariffs are causing to rural America and hopefully he will reconsider.”