Wisconsin farmers hope for an end to tariffs and trade war

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 2:25 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It all comes down to profits and opportunities, and some Wisconsin farmers say they are missing out on expanding their businesses due to the trade war.

Dave Daniels is a third-generation dairy farmer in Union Grove, Wisconsin.

“We formed Mighty Grand Dairy with two neighbors in 1997,” he said.

Since the nineties, Daniels says the farming industry has seen a big decrease in small farms.

In the past several years, the cost of getting product to the consumer has steadily increased.

“We have been engaged in a tit for tat tariff retaliation with China,” said Trade expert Jeff Schott of the Peterson Institute in International Economics in Washington, DC.

Schott says the conflict began under the Trump Administration.

“Those tariffs now cover roughly 2/3rds of all imports from China,” said Schott.

The trade war and rising tariffs center around what the U.S. believes are unfair trade methods by China including allegedly stealing trade secrets that give the country a better economic position over America.

An example is stealing trade secrets that allow a Chinese firm to benefit from US technology without having to incur development costs or pay a licensing fee to the US firm.

Recently in a letter sent on June 30th, Wisconsin’s Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was among a group of republican senators asking President Joe Biden to end the trade war and eliminate tariffs.

“I am an unabashed free trader, but it has to be fair trade,” said Sen. Johnson.

Johnson’s office says it has yet to receive a formal response from The White House, but it has received confirmation the letter was received.

Daniels explains what he believes the benefit would be if tariffs are eliminated.

“I think it will impact; we can export more of our products into the world market.”

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