South Dakota US Senator John Thune says he’s concerned by a Chinese announcement of placing a steep tariff on $50 billion dollars of U.S. imports.
That includes a tariff on soybeans. The South Dakota Soybean Association says China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, roughly 30 percent of overall production.
The announcement comes after President Donald Trump’s call on Tuesday for tariff’s on Chinese goods.
Thune says he understands the president’s desire for more reciprocal treatment.
Thune says the country should opening more markets, not less.
“I don’t think a trade war is healthy for anyone,” Thune says. “The most likely targets of retaliation, in many cases, is going to be American agriculture. That hurts soybeans, that hurts sorghum, that hurts potentially pork and maybe even beef, if what we’re hearing is accurate.”
Thune says the tariffs are in proposal form. He says the administration has 60 days to negotiate back and forth with China.
He says he hopes the administration strikes a deal that doesn’t impact American agriculture negatively. Especially, he says, when the ag economy is already in a difficult place.