Farm states are likely to be among those hit hardest by China’s proposed tariffs on American exports, including Illinois.
China announced on Wednesday it may impose a 25 percent tariff on exports from the United States, including soybeans and small aircraft. China’s list of proposed tariffs comes after the Trump administration proposed tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods on Tuesday, totaling $50 billion.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said during a visit to Bloomington-Normal on Thursday that he’ll be working with the Trump administration to reduce the impact American farmers may face if the soybean tariff goes into effect.
“My charge is working with the administration over the next six weeks and encouraging them to do what they can to lessen any impact of any possible retaliatory tariffs,” Davis said. “We don’t want an impact on our soybean farmers, our grain farmers here in this country, and especially in my district.”
Soybeans are America’s leading agricultural export, and the soybean tariff would affect over 300,000 soybean jobs in America.
Illinois is among the largest soybean producers, according to a 2016 report from the Department of Agriculture. Illinois farmers export about 60 percent of the soybeans they grow each year.
Davis said although the retaliatory 25 percent tariff on soybeans is concerning, the Trump administration needed to address China’s trade practices.
“Our farmers should be concerned, just like our steel workers were concerned when their plants shut down because of China’s unfair trading practices,” Davis said. “But we’ve got to do something about China. The president is right about that. And let’s make sure that we give him and his administration the time and the six weeks necessary to hopefully come up with a good deal.”
Trump said on Thursday he is considering imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods in response to the proposed tariffs. This constitutes a significant amount of Chinese imports, which totaled $505.6 billion last year.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.