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US Trade Showdown with China in Fullswing - Will Pro-Trump Farmers Keep the Faith?

07-06-2018

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump's trade showdown with China is underway after the president officially slapped new tariffs to the tune of $35 billion on Chinese imports.

Beijing filed its second complaint with the World Trade Organization and is retaliating with tariffs of their own on US products like soybeans, electric cars and pork.

Meanwhile, NBC News reports red-state farmers, who voted overwhelmingly for President Trump, are bracing for the fall-out of what's shaping up to be a nasty trade war.

"We're certainly hoping that this trade dispute is temporary," said Brian Watkins, a 56-year-old farmer from Kenton, Ohio.

"If it carries on, if it goes on long enough that the countries find alternate sources, that they encourage production in other places, you know, once those investments are made then that competitive environment changes – then all of a sudden we're in a very oversupplied situation," he warned.

Watkins farms about 8,000 acres of corn and soybeans and says these tariffs are going to hurt business.

"We've seen somewhere between a 10 to 20 percent price drop off our gross sales, and which you know given the profit margins we have, that's enough to take a majority chunk out of our profits right there," said Watkins.

Neil Rhonemus, a farmer from Lynchburg, Ohio, seemed to defend Trump's actions, saying that their industry can't be "held hostage" by other countries.

"The Trump administration is confronting Beijing for tactics like stealing US technology," Rhonemus noted.

"When you don't have a direct impact on something, there's not a lot you can do," he continued. "I just have to have a little faith that the administration will handle this in a quick manner and get it taken care of."

Trump's goal behind these tariffs is free and fair trade as China and the European Union have agreed to start a group aimed to update global trade rules.

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