Midwest Communities Worry About Effects of New Tariffs

This week, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum being imported into the United States. There would be a 25 percent tariff on steel, and there would be a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Two countries would be exempted from the tariffs for the time being. Canada and Mexico are exempt, and there is an expectation that Australia will be exempted shortly.

Midwest communities are bracing for possible retaliation by nations that will be affected by the new tariffs. Farmers and farm communities are worried that the shaky farm economy will be hit hard if nations that import many farm products from the United States enact retaliatory tariffs on agricultural products.

Farmers produce an abundance of agricultural crops that are purchased overseas. Farm products are a surplus trade product. The United States sells for more agricultural products than it imports.

The tariffs on steel and aluminium will affect China. China purchases over $14 billion in agricultural products from the United States. China buys almost all of its sorghum from the United States.

If a nation such as China decided to retaliate against the tariffs, they could decide to purchase sorghum, or other crops, from a different source. This would be a devastating blow to the Midwest.

The Midwest, especially farm communities, voted in large margins for President Trump. Right now, it seems like many in these communities are still supporting the president. The hope of many in farm communities is that the president will recognize if the tariffs are hurting rural communities, and he will then adjust his policies if the need should arise. If farmers and Midwest communities should suffer from retaliation against the tariffs, Republicans may suffer the consequences during the mid-term elections in November.