A trade war with China just became real.  The Chinese government has retaliated on Donald Trump’s move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum by slapping import duties on 128 U.S. exports that could hit American agriculture hard.  From Politico:

  • “China will impose a 15 percent tariff increase on goods including American fruit and nuts and add a 25 percent tariff on pork, recycled aluminum, and other goods, the government said.
  • The move to impose the duties comes just over a week after the Chinese Commerce ministry had announced it was considering tariffs on the goods. Just over a week later, those tariffs are taking effect. 
  • “The move is expected to lead to escalating tensions between the two large trading nations, leading many to worry that American farmers will be casualties in a tit-for-tat trade war.

The industries affected make up a small portion of U.S. goods sent to China but steep tariffs could be devasting to many American businesses.  From CNN:

  • The US National Pork Producers Council warned last month that the measures would “have a significant negative impact on rural America.” It said the US pork industry sold $1.1 billion worth of products to China last year, making it the third largest export market.

China’s official news agency wrote:  “Trump’s planned tariffs are not only going to hamper the United States’ economic well-being and continued progress, and burden its people with higher costs of living, but also pose a grave threat to the current global trading system,”