Des Moines Register front page warns Iowa could lose up to $624M from Chinese tariffs

Des Moines Register front page warns Iowa could lose up to $624M from Chinese tariffs

The Des Moines Register is warning Iowa residents that newly announced tariffs from the Trump administration could cost farmers in the state as much as $624 million, blasting out the headline on the newspaper's front page Saturday.

The newspaper, which reaches more than 140,000 Iowans in the state Trump won by just under 10 points, declares on its front page that the cost of Trump's moves to punish China for intellectual property theft would begin to "add up" for Iowa farmers, according to a copy obtained by the Newseum.

The Des Moines Register did not endorse Trump in the election, instead encouraging Iowans to vote for his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

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"Perhaps Iowa farmers' biggest fear is becoming a harsh reality," the article declares.

The Register quotes Iowa State University economist Chad Hart, who warns that any tariff action that China takes targeting U.S. soybeans, like the actions taken by China this week, will "slow down" Iowa's economy.

"Any tariff or tax put in place will have a significant impact, not only to the U.S. soybean market but to Iowa's, because we're such a large producer," Hart said.

"It will slow down the market. Even with the tariffs in place, we will ship a lot of soybeans to China," Hart added. "It just won't be nearly the amount we did before. It's likely to still be our largest market even with these tariffs in place."

China announced Saturday that it would target $34 billion in U.S. goods, including soybean exports which local media estimates say accounts for $5 billion in contracts per year — 80 percent of Iowa's soybean market.

"This is not the news farmers wanted to see, especially with the struggles we've had … over the past four or five years," Hart added.

China's Communist Party-linked newspaper the Global Times decried the U.S. as the "provocateur" Saturday in reporting the new Chinese measures.

“In this trade war, it’s the U.S. who is playing the role of provocateur, while China plays defense,” the Global Times piece stated. “China is a powerful guardian and has enough ammunition to defend existing trade rules and fairness.”