Iowa leaders react to China tariffs

Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 10:21 PM CDT
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President Trump claims the U.S. trade deficit with China is a main reason he imposed major tariffs on the country Wednesday.

The $60 billion in tariffs would be on many products that come into the U.S. from China.

Many, including Iowa leaders, are worried these tariffs could start a trade war between the United States and China.

Wednesday night China threatened to raise tariffs on about three billion dollars of U.S. imports.

The Trump administration says it is taking overdue action after years of unfair trading practices.

Both Senator Joni Ernst and Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig say these tariffs will hurt Iowans.

"I am concerned about any of the new tariffs that are coming out. Of cours,e one of the first industries that will be hit with retaliation is agriculture and that is so important to Iowa," Ernst said.

"When you're a very productive state like Iowa is, you need to move your products beyond our borders. We produce way more than we consume here. That just means we have to move these products around the world," Naig said.

In 2016, Iowa exported $2.3 billion worth of goods to China. A majority of those goods were oil seeds and grains at $1.8 billion.

The tariffs will not immediately go into effect. The U.S. trade representative will publish a list of targeted goods within 15 days and then allow a 30 day public comment period