Are Tariffs Leading to a Trade War?

DELAWARE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Farmers we spoke with believe tariffs on an international level will affect people right here at home.

The farmer we spoke with in the Watsontown area sells his soybeans throughout the winter and early spring. He says, right now, it's too soon to tell how he will be affected by the tariffs but he's watching things closely.

After months of threats from President Donald Trump, a trade war between the United States and China started early Friday morning. The U.S. started adding 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods like steel products. China has retaliated by imposing tariffs on products like soybeans, automobiles, and dairy products.

The president has also imposed steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico. Those countries countered with tariffs on cheese and yogurt.

As this is unfolding all over the world, farmers right here in central Pennsylvania are wondering how it will affect them.

Gary Truckenmiller is a farmer in the Watsontown area. He has around 100 dairy cows and says milk prices have been low for about three years. This new tariff from Mexico is not helping.

"Right now, it is probably too early to tell. Mexico is our number one country that we export milk to. It's usually milk powder and the tariff is on the cheese," Truckenmiller explained.

In addition to the dairy tariff, Truckenmiller is concerned about soybeans. His crop farm is about 500 acres.

"Half of it goes to cash grain and the other half is fed to our animals."

Truckenmiller says soybean prices have been dropping but he is not selling any right now. Soybeans are harvested in the fall and sold in the winter and spring so he has some time to see how it all plays out.

"I didn't contract any ahead for this next year, but I know there's a lot of soybeans that were planted nationwide too, so that's not helping the price either. I guess we have to wait and see if the prices bounce back in the fall and winter."

Truckenmiller plans to watch this closely and he hopes the trade war comes to an end soon.

8 comments

  • Jeff Woehrle

    The time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining. President Trump has the economy humming, so we can afford to straighten out bad trade deals that have been hurting this country for decades.

    This must be done. Otherwise, the real cost of imported goods will be American jobs.

  • AMJoy Fan

    More evidence for the failure of capitalism and isolationism. Until we move towards a more just global economy, such problems are inevitable.

  • lickerblisters

    Somehow the farmers managed to succeed decades ago before any China/soybean connection. Go back to doing what was being done back in the day. Quit your whining! And quit trying to out produce each other. You’re only hurting yourselves. AND STOP PURCHASING 1/4 MILLION DOLLAR TRACTORS EVERY OTHER YEAR!!!!

  • beekeeper

    People worried about the effect of the tariffs are forgetting that all the money collected will eventually end up in their pockets.

Comments are closed.