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‘Tariffs Are Working Big-Time,’ Says Trump

The U.S. “will be able to start paying down large amounts” of the national debt because of tariffs imposed on imported goods, said President Trump on Sunday. Trump tweeted, “Tariffs are working big-time,” two days after China said it might put duties on an additional $60 billion of U.S. imports if Trump follows through on his threat of a 25% tariff, rather than the originally proposed 10%, on $200 billion of products from China.

An array of U.S. farm exports, chiefly soybeans, already are under Chinese tariffs. China is the largest market for U.S. farm exports, with soybeans comprising roughly two thirds of sales last year. The USDA estimates that soybean exports will plunge 11%in the year ahead because of the loss of the Chinese market.

Besides paying down the federal debt, Trump said tariff revenue would allow lower taxes on Americans, “At minimum, we will make much better Trade Deals for our country!”

The advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade said “more soy products” are on China’s list for the additional tariffs. “Our patience is wearing thin,” said Iowa farmer Scott Henry, speaking for the group. “What’s particularly concerning right now is that China is adjusting to a new normal that locks U.S. soybean farmers like me out of its market.”

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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