Farmers respond to recent tariff hikes

Latest tariff hikes causing farmers to feel the pinch even more as part of U.S.-China trade dispute

Posted: May 13, 2019 11:54 PM

HANCOCK COUNTY, Iowa - The Chinese government announced that they would increase tariffs on imports from the U.S. beginning June 1st, three days after the Trump administration announced they would increase duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, part of a series of moves regarding the trade dispute between the two countries.

Farmers in North Iowa have been feeling the impact of the tariffs, and feel that the dispute needs to be solved soon.

Brent Renner grows a variety of crops like corn and soybeans, which have seen some of the worst affects from recent tariff hikes, near Klemme. He already faced tight margins and budgets before the dispute between the two countries began, and believes the moves could have lasting repercussions.

"There's only so much you can cut. You still need to plant seeds, they still need to grow. There's only so much we can do. Unfortunately, it's gotten to the point for a lot of people that we're just eating into equity. Anything that we've been working for the last, in my case 19 years, is starting to be depleted."

He and other farmers have had to adjust because of the trade war, and says that the tariffs, combined with other factors like weather, came at the worst possible time. However, he and others are making sure that lawmakers hear their message.

"We have a positive relationship with the Secretary of Agriculture, and we've continued to voice our concerns with him in that hopefully we can direct some change."

In addition to previously announced financial assistance, President Trump has said that the U.S. government will receive $15 billion in subsidies to offset the effects of the tariffs.

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