Farmers worried about Trump China tariff battle - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Farmers worried about Trump China tariff battle

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Zumwalt looking at soybeans in the barn. Zumwalt looking at soybeans in the barn.
Land that farmers hope is profitable in 2018. Land that farmers hope is profitable in 2018.
Equipment still in the barn in April. Equipment still in the barn in April.
Zumwalt checking the status of the soybean market. Zumwalt checking the status of the soybean market.
Numbers farmers check every single day. Numbers farmers check every single day.
(WGEM) -

Farmers are watching the markets closely and are reacting to the trump tariff battle with China.

They said if China follows through with its tariff on soybeans and pork, it would have an impact on their budgets in already tough times.

It's preparation as usual in April, farmers getting ready for spring planting season.

But a lot is on their mind.

With China imposing new tariffs on soybean and pork imports, there's fear that it could have an impact here in the tri-states.

"I didn't know we were in this bad of a shape where we had to put a tariff on stuff coming in and out of our country," Lee County farmer Gary Schiller said. "I didn't know we had to do that."

President Trump claimed the U.S. has suffered "abuse" by other countries taking advantage of America.

That would no longer be the case.

That's why he put tariffs on Chinese imports.

But Tuesday, China issued a $50 billion list of American goods for possible tariff hikes that includes, soybeans, beef, and chemicals.

"When you see as we are looking here today a 30 cent move in the soybean market," Hancock County farmer Joe Zumwalt said. "That affects our margin pretty dramatically." 

Farming is not only a job, it is a lifestyle for many families that is passed down from generation to generation.

In Lee County, the Schiller's have been here for many years but young people might not get involved because of what's happening to the business.

"With the cost of putting crop in and taking care of it, the insurance is expensive, and it's going to be hard and demanding on the young people and we need them," Schiller said.

A majority of farmers in the Tri-States supported Trump during the 2016 election.

Joe Zumwalt was one of them but this tariff decision could make farmers swing the other way in 2020.

'You will have to think about that and see how it plays out," Zumwalt said. "At this point, I hope it's just a negotiating tool and not the final written agreement."

The only thing farmers can do at this point is hope.

"We hope tomorrow (Tuesday), we wake up and this whole thing is turned around,"Schiller said.

"We just have to have a little faith, that intelligent people will make sound decisions and end up with a market recession," Zumwalt said.

The Chinese government hasn't given a date for the 25 percent tariff to take effect.

Officials said that will depend on what the president does about his plans to raise duties on a similar amount of Chinese goods.

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