Last month, Trump fired a salvo, announcing new tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum. China retaliated a few days ago with a long list of new tariffs, affecting about $50 billion of American-made products. Many fruits and nuts, for example, will face a 15 percent tax. So will a variety of stainless steel pipes.
China also slapped a 25-percent tax on pork products — a category that affects me directly because I raise hogs. We try to sell every part of these animals, from the meat to the offal. Even before the trade war erupted, pork prices weren’t very good. Now they have dropped to the lowest prices since 2003.
Now things are going from bad to worse.
The Trump administration responded on Tuesday by proposing more than 1,300 new tariffs on Chinese products, including televisions, chemicals and machinery. They’re also worth about $50 billion, in a tit-for-tat move that aims to match China’s latest round.
Now China has shot back. On Wednesday, it added tariffs to more than 100 U.S. products, including cars and planes. This round affects me, too. If the Chinese impose the announced tariff of 25 percent on soybeans, another major product on my farm, it will lower my price $2.50 a bushel.