U.S. agriculture to receive heaviest blow from China-U.S. trade bickering

Updated 2018-05-04 09:43:04 Xinhua

U.S. agricultural sector will suffer the heaviest blow from a simmering trade bickering between the United States and China as American farmers will lose 15 percent of their net farm income and about 181,000 jobs, a report said Thursday.

If U.S. President Donald Trump's administration cannot rein in the escalating trade tension with China over a tit-for-tat tariff war, the United States will lose nearly 455,000 jobs and 49.2 billion U.S. dollars in the value of gross domestic product annually in the first couple of years, an agricultural newspaper in the U.S. western state of Washington said.

A full-blown trade war would cost America nearly 134,000 jobs and a 2.9-billion-dollar reduction in U.S. output annually, the Oregon-based weekly Capital Press said Thursday, quoting a new research by Trade Partnerships Worldwide, LLC, an international trade and economic consulting firm.

Nearly half of those job losses, 67,248, would be in agriculture, and net farm income would drop 6.7 percent annually, it said.

"Agricultural jobs are going to get hit the hardest among all the sectors we looked at," Laura Baughman, president of Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC, told Capital Press.

Early last month, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap 25 percent tariffs on 150 billion dollars worth of Chinese exports to the United States over a so-called U.S. trade deficit against China. China responded with the same amount of tariffs on U.S. exports to China.

Even with no retaliation from China and U.S. tariffs on only 50 billion dollars in imports, the United States would suffer more than 76,000 job losses and a 1.6-billion-dollar decline in its GDP, analysts said.

This would mean the loss of more than 7,000 jobs and less than 1 percent in net farm income annually in the first couple of years, Capital Press said.

"As administration officials prepare to head off to China for trade talks, the livelihoods of American workers hang in the balance," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said earlier.

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said that rising costs on farmers, manufacturers and service providers show "protectionism will weaken America."

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