China’s Finance Ministry announced Thursday that on Feb. 14 it will cut tariff rates on $75 billion worth of U.S. products, including some ag commodities such as soybeans, chicken, pork, oranges and asparagus, but the impact is expected to be minimal.
The U.S.-China trade war escalated again for the second time Friday after President Donald Trump declared the U.S. would increase rates for existing tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods as well as boost tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports that haven’t yet been levied.
Economists and farm groups say the Trump Administration's $16-billion "trade aid" package is designed for Midwestern farmers and the amount that trickles over to California farmers will provide little relief.
The retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on imports of U.S. fruits and tree nuts will hurt American producers, but the pain will be eased by increased demand from a surging middle class in the world’s most populous country, according to a RaboResearch report.
Trade and agriculture issues may play unusually prominent roles in congressional races this fall as Democrats look to seize control of the House and hang on to Senate seats they hold in farm states that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
The multifront trade war erupting on all sides of the U.S., with allies and others alike, is reaching new heights this week. China is preparing to enact $34 billion worth of tariffs on Friday that have U.S. producers of everything from strawberries to beef bracing for a major disruption in exports.