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Perdue: Farmers are ‘casualties’ in trade war

Perdue: Farmers are ‘casualties’ in trade war

China and the U.S. have been in a trade war for over a year

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary acknowledged that the industry he represents is caught in the crosshairs of a trade dispute with China.

American producers “are one of the casualties here with the trade disruption,” Sonny Perdue told CNN while in Council Bluffs, Iowa for the 23rd annual WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride on Monday. “We knew going in that when you flew the penalty flag on China, the retaliation, if it came, would be against the farmer.”

The trade war between China and the U.S. passed the one-year mark in June.

The U.S. placed 25 percent tariffs on US$50-billion worth of Chinese goods on June 15, 2018. China retaliated with similar tariffs on July 6, 2018 and the countries have been at odds ever since.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet during the G20 Summit in Japan which kicks off Friday.

President Trump may not return to the U.S. with a deal but he could come back with an understanding that the two countries need to negotiate, Perdue told CNN.

Farmers already know how the trade disruption is affecting the industry.

But now that Secretary Perdue has said it publicly, others from outside ag might develop a better understanding of the issue, said Bill Shipley, a cash crop producer from Adams County, Iowa.

“It was good that he said it publicly for the non-farm community to hear,” he told Farms.com. “A lot of people outside of farming don’t understand what we do or how global issues like this can affect what we do. So, for (Secretary Perdue) to come out and say it, maybe someone in downtown New York hears it and looks into” the trade war and its effect on the ag industry.

A failure to make progress on a trade deal could result in more tariffs on Chinese goods.

President Trump outlined a plan to potentially put a 10 percent levy on US$600-billion worth of Chinese products, he told FOX Business on Wednesday.

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