'Enough is enough,' business and ag groups say of tariff war

After the U.S.-China tariff war escalated Friday, more than 150 business and agriculture groups said: “Enough is enough.”

“The administration is betting the health of our entire economy on a tariff strategy that is a proven loser,” according to a statement from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, of which Illinois Farm Bureau is a member. “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs.

"Congress can’t sit on the sidelines any longer while jobs, retirement savings and local farms are put at risk by a trade war that gets more dangerous by the day," the statement read. "Enough is enough.” 

(Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said China’s announcement of additional tariffs on U.S. imports “signals more trouble for American agriculture.”

“Farm Bureau is currently assessing the details of this announcement, but we know continued retaliation only adds to the difficulties farm and ranch families are facing and takes the situation in the exact wrong direction,” Duvall said. “Continuing negotiations is the best way to restore certainty to export markets farmers and ranchers depend on. We need substantive trade agreements that ensure American agriculture can provide an abundant and safe food supply for the world’s growing population.”

According to AFBF, the U.S. exported $19.5 billion worth of agricultural products to China in 2017. Agricultural exports to China were reduced to $9.1 billion in 2018 because of retaliatory tariffs and exports were already down in the first half of this year by $1.3 billion.

Earlier this month, the U.S. announced 10% tariffs would be imposed on various imports from China – some on Sept.1 and others on Dec. 15.

In retaliation, China announced Friday that it will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports. The new tariffs of 5% and 10% will go into effect on Sept. 1 for some products and on Dec. 15 for others. Also on Dec. 15, tariffs of 25% will be imposed for autos and 5% percent for auto parts.

Following China’s announcement Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to increase U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods even further.