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North Dakota politicos respond to threat of Chinese tariffs on ag exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. - North Dakota politicians issued strong reactions Wednesday, April 4, to reports that China has proposed 25 percent tariffs on U.S. exports, including soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat and beef.

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Rows of corn and soybeans next to each other in a sunlit field on a summer day.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – North Dakota politicians issued strong reactions Wednesday, April 4, to reports that China has proposed 25 percent tariffs on U.S. exports, including soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat and beef.

“Exports are a central piece of the ag economy, which is why we’re concerned by potential Chinese retaliation and proposed increased duties on U.S. products, especially agriculture commodities including soybeans, corn, wheat and beef. We’ve repeatedly stressed to the Administration that any changes to our trade policy need to result in better deals for the U.S. and prevent retaliatory measures that harm North Dakota industries, particularly agriculture. While negotiations on both U.S. and Chinese tariffs go forward in the coming months, we’ll continue pressing the Administration to find productive ways to improve trade relations with China and prevent these proposed tariffs from being enacted.”

–Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. “These actions are a direct result of the administration’s proposed tariffs on China, bringing us closer to a trade war that American producers cannot afford. There’s no question that China has cheated its trade commitments with the United States, impacting American jobs and our economy. A better way of responding would be to look at trade enforcement to rein in China’s actions and create a level playing field for American farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers. Right now, agricultural producers face a great deal of uncertainty from these potential tariffs, the administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, and NAFTA renegotiations. For rural America to thrive, the government needs to support policies that will help it grow – but the administration’s trade policies would instead put a stake in the heart of agricultural communities.”

–Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.

"In speaking to North Dakota producers, I’ve heard it said that 'if you’re for less trade, you’re for fewer farmers.' The administration must take steps to de-escalate the situation and restore relationships with our trading partners that in many cases took decades to build. Trade wars are not 'easy,' and there have rarely been winners when large countries lock each other out of key markets. North Dakota producers do not deserve to be placed in harm’s way. I urge the administration to rethink its unwise actions on trade before irreparable damage is done."

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–North Dakota Democratic-NPL congressional candidate Mac Schneider

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