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Illinois Farmers Concerned About Impact of Trump Tariffs on China

The Illinois Farm Bureau says that exports are down $1 billion compared to last year

An international battle between leaders of the United States and China is having a big impact on farmers and families in Illinois.

This week, negotiations between the U.S. and China broke down after President Donald Trump announced plans to more than double tariffs on more than $200 billion in Chinese imports.

The president asserted on his Twitter feed that there was “no need to rush” to get a deal between the two countries, but China is already vowing to retaliate in a move that could have big impacts on consumers.

The retaliation could mean price hikes on various items that consumers use every day, including groceries like fruit, nuts, and fish, and appliances, sneakers, and even smartphones.

One trade group estimates that the new tariffs could cost a family of four up to $767 extra per year, and that’s because companies will have to pay more for what they import from overseas.

The tariffs could also have a big impact on Illinois farmers who sell their crops to China. This week, the Illinois Farm Bureau said that farmers are sitting on a massive inventory of grain, and now have fewer places to ship it thanks to the tariffs.

Exports for farmers in the state are down an estimated $1 billion this year compared to last year, according to the bureau.     

“Corn and soybean prices are depressed, combined with a delayed 2019 planting season due to heavy rains, and farmers are facing their sixth straight year of declining net farm income,” the bureau said in a statement. “If this trade uncertainty lingers, we will certainly be looking to the Trump Administration for another round of market facilitation payments. Farmers continue to bear the brunt of the trade wars.”

Despite the criticism by some trade and farm groups, the White House says the tough stance it is taking will help the U.S. to get a better trade deal with China. Some American companies could also benefit from the tariffs, as businesses seek American-made products as a cost-saving measure.

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