Chinese tariffs affect local farmers in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chinese tariffs affect local farmers in Eau Claire

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- China recently announced it'll be putting a tariff on U.S. goods worth $50 billion. One of the products that's going to be taxed is soybeans, and that's one of the most farmed crops here in Eau Claire.

"Of course this part of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin in general, is a significant producer of soybeans. As a consequence, if China's going to tax those every time we try to sell soybeans to China the prices of soybeans will likely  be higher in China," said Dr. Thomas Kemp an economic professor at UW-Eau Claire. 

Kemp said if prices are higher in China, then less people will be buying soybeans, which means farmers here in Eau Claire, will be losing some of their business, and that will trickle down to other people. 

"If I'm running a store here in Eau Claire, or in Altoona, or anywhere else right in the area, I'm going to be concerned that maybe they're going to buy less groceries then they would otherwise, or they're not going to be able to pay as much mortgage that they could before. They're not going to be able to buy that car or truck when they need it and that's going to affect my bottom line" said Kemp.

As President Trump and China go back and forth, Kemp said it's a reaction.

How the president is handling the situation, doesn't have everyone's support.

"My problem is the unilateral approach that President Trump is taking. They're not only doing it to America, they're doing it to everyone, so we should be taking the lead in developing a multi-national coalition to stand up against China and say no more, we're not going to tolerate it," said Representative Ron Kind.

Kemp said if the battle between the U.S. and China continues, and tariffs rise, local soybean farmers should begin to worry about their future. 

"Anytime the sales to a business decline and their cost structure is negatively impacted, which is essentially what we're talking about, there is a possibility that businesses could go under, " said Kemp. 

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