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Are You Feeling ‘a Little Pain’ In Trade Standoff?

by Countable | 4.6.18

What’s the story?

  • In the latest escalation of the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington, President Donald Trump on Thursday instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.

  • Asked about the tit-for-tat tariffs, and their affect on the economy, Trump said on Friday:

"I’m not saying there won’t be a little pain."

Farmers feeling the pain

  • Pork-producers, soybean farmers, and winemakers are some of the hardest-hit industries as the U.S. and China continue to pile on tariffs.

  • Last year, China bought nearly $1.1 billion of pork from the U.S. NPR reported that Nevada, Iowa, farmer Howard Hill – who raises corn, soybeans, cattle, and hogs – has "seen hog prices drop to the point where it may cost some farmers more to raise a pig than they can sell it for." If the tariffs are imposed for a lengthy stretch, Hill says, “there will be people who go out of business."

  • Soybeans are America's leading agricultural export. In 2017, almost 60% of the beans went to China, totaling $21.6 billion in sales.

  • American Soybean Association Director Joe Steinkamp told the Washington Post he exports about one-third of his soybean crop to China. The Indiana farmer said he risks losing around $170,000 in annual income if the tariffs are instated.

Volatile markets and marketplaces

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 300 points Friday morning. However, it did recover some lost ground later in the day.

  • Earlier this week, shares in Boeing – one of the U.S. businesses who would be most affected by the tariffs – dropped by as much as 5.7 percent. Caterpillar and Intel experienced a 2 percent loss.

  • The National Retail Federation accused Trump of "playing a game of chicken with the nation's economy."

Are you feeling ‘a little pain’?

After saying there may be ‘a little pain,’ the president continued: "So we might lose a little of [the trade war] but we’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished, and that’s what I’m all about." Is that what you’re all about? Are you feeling any pain over the trade dispute? Or is it all just bluster? Share your thoughts - and pain - below, then hit Take Action and tell your reps.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: pixdeluxe / iStock)

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