Missouri agriculture industry fearful of Trump tariffs

6 months 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, March 07 2018 Mar 7, 2018 Wednesday, March 07, 2018 12:13:00 PM CST March 07, 2018 in News
By: Nora Faris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri exporters and importers, particularly in the agriculture industry, are steeling themselves for an economic hit. That comes as several nations are threatening to retaliate with tariffs after President Donald Trump announced tariff increases on imported steel and aluminum last week. 

Trump's proposed tariff changes include a 25 percent hike for foreign steel and a 10 percent increase on aluminum imports. The White House said it plans to enact the tariffs on Thursday. 

The president appears to be using these tariffs as a bargaining chip in the continuing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On Monday, Trump tweeted: "Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed."

But after facing significant pushback and the threat of retaliation, the president has changed his tune. The White House announced Wednesday that there will be a temporary exemption for steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico.

Although steel and aluminum are at the center of the tariff debate, Missouri agriculture leaders said it's corn, soybeans and agricultural commodities that could face serious ripple effects in the form of retaliatory tariffs and increased equipment costs.

Eric Bohl, director of public affairs for Missouri Farm Bureau, said agriculture is Missouri's number one industry, and the state's farmers rely heavily on exports under NAFTA.  

"If Canada and Mexico aren't buying our corn and soybeans, we have to find another place to send it," Bohl said. "And there just aren't that many countries that are out there begging for more product right now."

In 2016, Missouri exported $2.2 billion worth of agricultural goods. Sixty-four percent of that total went to Mexico and Canada.

The European Union is now threatening retaliatory tariffs on a number of American goods, ranging from steel to agricultural products.

"With the ag economy being the number one export sector in America, we would be the first ones hurt," Bohl said. "Missouri's farmers and ranchers would feel the impact of any retaliatory tariffs before nearly any other sector would."

During his 2016 campaign, the president promised to revitalize America's blue-collar manufacturing sector. Trump's tariffs aim to do that by putting pressure on trade partners like China that are suspected of distorting markets through subsidies and dumping too much of a commodity on the market, thus lowering the price. But some industries, including agriculture, Bohl said, feel that the tariffs would create a larger problem than they would solve.

The NAFTA renegotiation, which was originally supposed to conclude by March 31, will now extend at least past April, when the next round of negotiations will be held in Washington.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Task Force One continues its work with victims of Hurricane Florence this week. The task force... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Supporters of the "Clean Missouri" initiative endorsed Amendment 1 after a judge ordered removal to take it off... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Kansas City Police Department has rescinded commendations given to two officers involved in the fatal... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 5:05:10 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is testing new lights downtown this week to try and curb violence and crime. The new... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
BEVIER - The Macon County deputy who shot a man during an incident in August is back at work. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's U.S. senators want a review of sexual misconduct allegations made against President Donald Trump's Supreme... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:42:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A 9-year-old boy whose bus driver saved him from choking says he now knows why candy isn't... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:38:54 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Two groups protested outside the Missouri Department of Corrections Monday morning with hopes of ending the 127... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 2:21:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved the new city budget Monday night. This was the final hearing for... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says cities and counties skipped out on an extra $698,000 in fees... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 1:05:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police have arrested a man they say shot a man in Jefferson City on Saturday. Dana... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 12:00:00 PM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday night, the MU Police Department arrested a man suspected of exposing himself at Ellis library. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 10:35:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COOPER COUNTY - An I-70 motorcycle crash left one man dead Sunday night. The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 7:29:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the latest attack ads on Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Missouri, claims the senator is giving her... More >>
1 day ago Monday, September 17 2018 Sep 17, 2018 Monday, September 17, 2018 4:30:00 AM CDT September 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Another Columbia resident is voicing her complaints about Bird scooters, and this time, she's talking to city council.... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 8:00:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. - Missouri Task Force One is currently assisting in search, rescue and evacuation operations in North Carolina... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:35:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Council is expected to adopt the budget for 2019 Monday. If adopted, the budget... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:24:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Worley Street Roundtable hosted several community members for a meeting and luncheon on Sunday afternoon. The... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, September 16 2018 Sep 16, 2018 Sunday, September 16, 2018 4:21:00 PM CDT September 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
1am 73°
2am 73°
3am 74°
4am 73°