In response to tariffs levied on imports by the Trump Administration, Mexico on Thursday doubled its tariff on U.S. pork, and China on Friday is set to implement 25 percent tariffs on pork, soybeans and tobacco from the U.S.
The tariffs will make U.S. products more expensive in those countries, encouraging foreign buyers to find cheaper suppliers elsewhere around the world.
North Carolina farmers depend on those foreign markets to stay afloat. The state produces the most tobacco in the country and is the second-largest pork producer in the U.S. China and Mexico also are two of the state’s top trading partners for agricultural goods. …
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said agricultural exports to China, Mexico and Canada, which also is slapping tariffs on U.S. goods, were worth more than $1.1 billion last year to North Carolina farmers….
Similarly, (North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry) Wooten notes, China has been the largest market for North Carolina tobacco in recent years.
“Seventy-five percent of that tobacco’s got to be exported, and the Chinese have said they’re not purchasing our U.S. tobacco until this is settled. So, it’s really unnerving,” he said.
Tariffs on international trade is harmful cronyism – protecting specific uncompetitive industries and companies at the expense of consumers and other industries. The resulting trade war is pure economic ignorance, tantamount to each side competing to shoot themselves in the foot with the biggest gun.