Donald Trump

From Farm to Table: Texas Ranchers Weigh in on Trade War

$75 billion in U.S. exports will soon be subject to retaliatory tariffs: U.S. Chamber

The agriculture industry is bracing for new tariffs placed on American goods and products and potential impacts on profits, the effects of which are expected to trickle down to the American consumer.

The Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday, and China is retaliating with taxes on an equal amount of U.S. products, including soybeans, electric cars and pork.

Ranchers in the agriculture industry expect to eventually feel the effects.

“Right now cattle is still looking good, but we don’t know how this will end up,” said Pete Bonds, whose family has been raising cattle for generations.

Bonds owns and leases land in more than two dozen counties in Texas and throughout several states across the country.

In Texas, cattle is king; the Lone Star State’s top commodity is beef.

“The tariffs in place won’t immediately affect us," said Bonds. "We don’t send a lot of pork to China. There were already so many restrictions. The United States does, however, export a lot of pork to China."

The new tax placed on pork will guarantee that less pork will be sent overseas.

“It’s economy 101, if you have more supply than demand its going to make the product cheaper. If the price of pork goes down the rest of the industry will be affected,’ explained Bonds.

The Trump administration has penalized steel and aluminum imports from allies such as Canada and Mexico, leading to retaliation against American-made products such as blue jeans, motorcycles and whiskey.

Bonds suggested agriculture will be the next business sector to feel the hit.

"It all comes back to food," Bonds said. "Everybody in the cattle business is a deer in headlights wondering what's going to happen next and how this is going to affect us. I understand the President’s choice to enact more tariffs, it’s just something that we’ll all have to deal with. It may get worse before it gets better."

Nationwide, the U.S. Chamber reported that $75 billion in U.S. exports will soon be subject to retaliatory tariffs.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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