Tennesseans Worry Whether they can “Turn a Profit and Stay in Business” Amid Growing Trade War

Nashville Roundtable Highlights the Impact of Tariffs on Local Farmers and Businesses

NASHVILLE, TENN.—Today a group of Tennessee farmers, business, and trade experts met at Tennessee Brew Works to discuss how tariffs are inflicting major damage on local businesses. According to a recent report, up to $1.38 billion in Tennessee exports could be impacted by tariffs and as many as 700,000 workers in the state’s auto industry could lose their jobs. The event is part of the nonpartisan Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign, which is dedicated to highlighting the effects of the trade war on Americans across the country.

“Tariffs are nothing more than a tax on American farmers, businesses and families. While we support the administration’s goal of holding China accountable for their actions, more must be done to ensure that consumer and ag products remain off the tariff list to prevent harm to the heartland,” said Jennifer Safavian, executive vice president of government affairs for RILA.

Soybeans were Tennessee’s largest crop in 2016, with exports totaling $422 million. China represents 30 percent of the U.S. soybean market, according to Tennessee Farm Bureau officials.

“Tennessee farmers are worried whether we can turn a profit and stay in business – not just for the next year, but for the next generation. Trade has given us the opportunity to expand to new markets and sell our commodities overseas, but tariffs are closing those markets off quickly,” said Brandon Whitt, Rutherford County Vice President of the Tennessee Farm Bureau. If the trade war doesn’t end soon, we could lose those markets for good and do permanent damage to farming and agriculture in Tennessee and across the country.”

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is backed by over 100 of the nation’s largest trade organizations that represent thousands of workers and businesses across the country. The campaign’s next stop will be in Harrisburg on Thursday, September 27, to hear from Ohioans on the regional impacts they are suffering because of tariffs.

The campaign recently released an interactive searchable map (TariffsHurt.com) that allows users to find stories across the country of how tariffs are impacting local communities. Learn more about the campaign here, or read about us in the New York Times, Bloomberg, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TariffsHurt.