US soybean farmers warn Trump trade war with China will cause 'serious damage'

American soybean farmers are warning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE’s trade dispute with China will result in “serious damage” to their industry. 

The American Soybean Association (ASA) said in a statement that soybean farmers “rely heavily” on exports to China, and said that they lobbied Trump to reconsider the tariffs.

John Heisdorffer, an Iowa soybean farmer and president of the ASA, warned of the impact of the tariffs on farmers.


“Soybeans are the top agriculture export for the United States, and China is the top market for purchasing those exports,” Heisdorffer said in the statement. “The math is simple. You tax soybean exports at 25-percent, and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers.”

Soybeans are among the U.S. products, along with orange juice, whiskey, electric cars and others, that are threatened by retaliatory tariffs from China.

The tariffs came in response to Trump's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, which went into effect Friday. Trump has been critical of China on trade, and his tariffs have prompted China to accuse him of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history.”

The ASA’s concerns also support reports that China is using tariffs to target Trump’s base — most states where soybeans are grown voted for Trump in the election.

The U.S. is expected to impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese products later this month. Trump has also targeted key U.S. allies like Canada, Mexico and the European Union with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.