Iowa Farm Leaders Warn Of Casualties From Trade Disputes With China

American farmers could become the first casualties of a tariff regimen if the Trump administration continues to impose such tariffs in a rash manner on Chinese goods, leaders of a forum for agriculture in the U.S. state of Iowa has warned late last week.

“We’re in limbo. This is a very bad time for agriculture,” Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill said in an interview on Iowa Public Television.

Iowa Farm Bureau is an organization of farms and farm owners in Iowa and had been set up with the aim of creating a vibrant future for the agriculture sector and families that are dependent on farm incomes in in Iowa.

“I’m a little bit taken aback by this attitude that’s come from the White House,” said Hill. He was referring to what he described as “cavalier comments” from Wilbur Ross, the U.S. secretary of commerce who had reportedly commented that “even shooting wars end in negotiations.”

“Shooting wars end in casualties and collateral damage,” Hill responded. “It’s a very serious matter and Iowa is going to be the first casualty.”

The list of American goods that China has brought out on its counter measure plan to trump tariffs on Chinese goods to impose higher tariffs on importing them include both soybeans and pork.

It would potentially take farmers “a long time to recover from the tariffs that are already implemented or already talked about”, said John Weber, who is a hog farmer from Iowa and he is also the vice president of U.S. National Pork Producers Council. He told this in a television program on Iowa Public Television recently.

China is a major export destination for U.S. pork and about 26 per cent of the total pork that is produced in the country is sent out of the country as exports, according to data from the National Pork Producers Council. This underscores the troubles that the U.S. pork industry is likely to face by the Chinese tariffs.

“The growth of our industry is entirely dependent on future export markets…we need to have access to this country,” said Weber.

Hill warned that “some minds may be changed” if the trade sanctions turn out to be “completely out of control” even though U.S. President Donald Trump had received significant support from the farmers in the Midwest state.

(Adapted from Xinhuanet.com)

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