Business

Study: Chinese tariffs would cost 1,800 Iowa jobs

Farmers' income would drop 7 percent

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Iowa would lose about 1,800 jobs if the Trump administration imposes tariffs on $50 billion in goods from China and China retaliates, according to a new study.

Farmers also would see a 6.7 percent hit to their incomes, according to the study, which was commissioned by the Consumer Technology Association and National Retail Federation.

“We must resolve this trade dispute without resorting to job-killing tariffs and retaliation,” said Matthew Shay, the federation’s president and chief executive.

Top officials from China and the Trump administration finished two days of trade talks in Beijing this week.

The products the Chinese have targeted hit close to home for Iowa, with soybeans one of the products on the list. On Thursday, Bloomberg and other news outlets reported the Chinese already had canceled orders for U.S. soybeans.

The new study says that 134,000 American jobs would be lost, most of them less-skilled workers, if tariffs were imposed on $50 billion in goods on both sides.

Manufacturing would rise in some sectors but fall in others, the study said, while construction and service positions also would be lost.

The study said that Iowa would lose 1,856 jobs, with California and Texas losing the most jobs.

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The numbers would go much higher if duties were imposed on an additional $100 billion in goods from China and it responded in kind. The hit to agriculture would more than double if that were the case, the study said.

U.S. negotiators in Beijing suggested $200 billion in tariffs, twice the amount previously suggested by President Donald Trump.

Earlier this week in Clinton, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Trump is engaged in “brinksmanship.”

He praised the effort at improving the country’s trade posture. Still, he acknowledged the risks.

“If you come to the brink and you don’t go over, I think we’re going to be winners. If we go over, then you know what’s going to happen to agriculture. And that’s really fearful,” Grassley said.

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