American farmers caught in the middle of global trade war

The Chinese appear to have been taken back by Trumps decision on Friday, especially since the two sides have been in extensive sides to avert a trade war of tit-for-tat tariffs and penalties.

Trump said in a statement that the United States would pursue additional tariffs if China retaliates. Trump targeted Chinese industrial and agricultural machinery, aerospace parts and communications technology.

China "doesn't want a trade war" but has to "fight back strongly", said a Commerce Ministry statement. The ministry further stated that all previous trade talks would be invalid.

US officials say the tariff hike targets goods that might benefit from Chinese theft of technology or pressure on foreign companies to hand it over in exchange for market access.

But Trump's China trade offensive is only one side of his multi-front confrontation with all major USA economic partners.

Foreign business groups have complained for a decade that Beijing is squeezing them out of promising economic fields.

The newspaper, which reaches more than 140,000 Iowans in the state Trump won by just under 10 points, declares on its front page that the cost of Trump's moves to punish China for intellectual property theft would begin to "add up" for Iowa farmers, according to a copy obtained by the Newseum.

An official in charge of the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission said that the additional tariffs targeting Chinese goods, once imposed, would "substantially change" the trade conditions of these goods, and affect relevant producers and trade companies as well as the production and operation of the upstream and downstream industries.

By selling more to other countries, farmers might be able to make up for most product sales lost to price increases in China, agricultural economists say.

"The mentality of the Trump team is a little odd", said Andrew Polk, co-founder of research firm Trivium China in Beijing.

What you need to know about the president's latest trade move. Hope grew that the US would accept a modest increase in purchases by China of American products. Critics say Trump gained little from his meeting this past week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, though the outcome of that bargain is still up in the air.

The Trump administration has also argued that Beijing subsidies favored industries, encouraging them overinvest and overproduce.

USA officials say they fear that Beijing's long-range development strategy, dubbed "Made in China 2025", will hamper competition and hurt American competitors. But within days, the president backed away from the framework for the talks.

The AIT serves as Washington's embassy in Taiwan as the two governments do not have official diplomatic ties. "This is a vital and robust market that soy growers have spent over 40 years building and, frankly, it's not a market USA soybean farmers can afford to lose". "It interferes with China's internal affairs and negatively impacts China-US relations".

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel implied a new front in the trade row with the United States yesterday, hinting at competition probes of USA internet giants. Amid the acrimonious breakdown of talks at the G7 last weekend, all global relations have been thrown into disarray, opening up a new, and extremely risky, period of worldwide tension and conflict.

  • Joey Payne