Trump tells USDA chief farmers won’t be hurt by China trade dispute
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday that President Trump told him farmers will not be hurt by an ongoing trade dispute with China.
Speaking at a town hall discussion in Ohio, Perdue said that the recently announced Chinese tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products could be concerning to farmers but noted that the president said they shouldn’t worry.
“I talked to the president as recently as last night,” Perdue said. “And he said, ‘Sonny, you can assure your farmers out there that we’re not going to allow them to be the casualties if this trade dispute escalates. We’re going to take care of our American farmers. You can tell them that directly.'”
The new tariffs target a number of U.S. goods, including whiskey and soybeans.
China’s latest tariffs come after Trump announced $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods in an attempt to make them reconsider how they handle intellectual property.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) warned that Chinese tariffs could greatly hurt farmers.
“The United States should take action to defend its interests when any foreign nation isn’t playing by the rules or refuses to police itself. But farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be expected to bear the brunt of retaliation for the entire country,” Grassley said in a statement.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that Illinois farmers — the largest producer of soybeans — will be heavily hurt by China’s retaliation to Trump’s tariffs.
“Illinois’ farmers now join DACA recipients as the latest victims of President Trump’s temper,” Durbin said in a tweet. “Illinois is our nation’s’ largest producer of soybeans, and a top producer of pork, and will feel China’s retaliation to threats of a trade war more than most. America cannot move forward in a blizzard of tweets and wild threats form this president.”
My statement on China’s retaliation to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Chinese goods: pic.twitter.com/3nukmqMHlR
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) April 4, 2018
China’s tariffs have renewed fears of an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China, though Trump on Wednesday said the U.S. is not in a trade war with China.
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