IL farmers anxious about local impact of trade war with China

China has slapped a tariff on U.S. pork and pork products

China has slapped a tariff on U.S. pork and pork products. Courtesy of National Pork Board and Pork Checkoff

President Donald Trump says China hasn't been playing fair.

One silver lining: American automakers that import electric vehicle batteries from China were spared from the USA tariffs.

Responding to the threat from Trump, the Chinese Commerce Ministry declared it would "not hesitate" to retaliate to new tariffs "at any cost".

Before the latest announcement, US lawmakers had reacted with mounting concern on Thursday over the threat to the American agricultural sector from the trade confrontation with China. The earlier tariff threats roiled financial markets but they had rebounded Thursday on investor hopes the US and China indicated would find a diplomatic solution. The move was nearly certainly meant to hit part of Trump's base of support, Roy said.

On Thursday night, President Trump called for another $100 billion in tariffs, which prompted the Chinese to vow to "fight back at any cost", a sign that the trade disputes will continue to hang over markets, unless either party balks in this high-stakes game of chicken.

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"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers", Trump said. "China wants the American domestic political system to do the work".

Despite many businesses in the footwear, apparel and outdoor space not being directly impacted by the announcement, reaction to the new tariff proposal was sharp.

Then on Tuesday, President Trump threatened to levy import taxes on 1,300 Chinese products, including TVs, dishwashers, and printers. "So we may take a hit, and you know what, ultimately we're going to be much stronger for it, but it's something we ought to do".

"We are on a unsafe downward spiral and American families will be on the losing end", Shay added in a statement, urging Trump "to stop playing a game of chicken with the USA economy".

Is it possible that the US could actually benefit from a tariff war? The high ranking official said that American punitive action over China could be done as the latter behaved in a predatory manner when it involved technology. "However, as a whole we feel this is not positive for business". China seems in good position to go for war. "We don't have a trade war, because we already lost the trade war", he told WABC's "Bernie and Sid in the Morning" show.

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January 2018: Trump targets Chinese-made solar panels and washing machines with tariffs of 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Some investors have taken solace from signals that the Trump administration may be taking a harsh line as a bargaining tactic towards deal-making with China. "The tariff threats, even if only intended as bargaining tools, will be hard to back down from if talks fail to deliver results", Capital Economics' Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a research note Friday.

Now with the potential new tariffs - no one knows which USA exports could be hit next with Chinese taxes.

What's the next move in this saga? Tariffs of both the countries would not be imposed right now. In a statement the transit agency said, "CTA is looking into the possible impacts, if any, of the proposed tariffs on our current rail vehicle contract". Fear and confusion leads to pauses in spending, and footwear retailers can not afford this in an already tough environment.

If Trump uses his tariffs to force Chinese policy concessions rather than simply to posture, he could conceivably force China to reduce its systematic theft of US intellectual property, to create a fairer, more level playing field for foreign companies, to reduce subsidies for its manufacturers, or to promise not to engage in currency manipulation.

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Even so, the possibility has farmers in IL anxious.

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