CHICAGO (CBS) — The back and forth of proposed tariffs between the U.S. and China continued overnight.
China is targeting 106 U.S. products with hefty tariffs, including a threat to a multi-billion dollar industry in Illinois.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole listened to the concerns of soybean farmers as they come face to face with a 25 percent tariff on their exports to China.
The 500 acres of Eldon Gould’s farm 60 miles west of Chicago are still brown and barren.
But soon they’ll be prime for planting soybeans.
China purchases about a third of the U.S. crop.
That country is proposing a 25 percent tariff that muddies the field on what Gould’s harvest may be worth.
“The whole production, agriculture business has an awful lot of uncertainty and this introduces one more,” says Eldon Gould of Gould Family Farms.
In Illinois alone, soybeans are a 7.5 billion dollar industry.
Farmers have been worried about a Chinese tariff for several weeks.
“I guess today it’s very real,” says Gould.
China announced the soybean tariffs overnight.
It follows the White House proposing 50 billion dollars in U.S. tariffs against Chinese products.
“Our members are extremely upset,” says Craig Ratajczyk, CEO of the 43,000 member Illinois Soybean Association.
“We are always about free and fair trade and this defies in the face of the things our farmers have stood for for decades,” says Ratajczyk.
When asked about the move from the White House, Ratajcyzk, says he’s disappointed.
“I’ll be the first to admit I voted for Mr. Trump,” says Gould.
The White House says, in part, the tariffs on Chinese goods are necessary because of a 375 billion dollar trade deficit that the U.S. has with China.
The tariffs on both side have yet to take effect.
There is hope that trade negotiations might be able to roll them back.