Without Long-Term Strategy, Tariff Pain Will Continue in Mississippi

QUOTE FROM TARIFFS HURT THE HEARTLAND SPOKESMAN BRIAN KUEHL: “Tariffs will only continue to take a toll on Mississippi’s economy, workers, and families unless we change course and end these tax increases on businesses and consumers. Farmers have been paying for the trade war for months and now consumers will start seeing higher prices for necessities like groceries and clothing. Tariffs are causing pain across Mississippi and it won’t stop until the trade war ends.”

‘THIS COULD BE CATASTROPHIC.’  “Small businesses around the country say they are bracing for the latest round of tariffs, which could cut into already-thin profits and leave them with little recourse but to pass on additional costs to consumers beginning this holiday season. … ‘A 25 percent bump at the wholesale level could end up being a 40 or 50 percent increase by the time something gets to the sales floor,’ said Adam Rossi, owner of Adam Solar Rides … ‘The American consumer just isn’t willing to pay that much more.’ (Abha Bhattarai, “‘This Could Be Catastrophic’: Small Businesses Say New Tariffs Will Make It Even Harder to Compete,” Washington Post, 9/20/18)

TARIFFS MEAN HIGHER PRICES FOR GROCERIES, CLOTHES, FURNITURE, AND A LOT MORE. “The consensus among many American retailers and small business owners is that the tariffs themselves will hurt business — and that the pain will be passed along to American shoppers in the form of higher prices on a vast array of goods. The new tariffs affect imports ranging from canned vegetables to wood furniture, and seem to affect at least some of the products from major consumer brands like Crocs, Nike, Apple, and Procter & Gamble.” (Brad Tuttle, “All The Major Retailers That Say They’ll Have to Raise Prices Because of New Tariffs on China,” Time, 9/26/18)

PRICES WILL SPIKE AS HOLIDAY SHOPPING BEGINS. “Many American companies have already announced that tariffs could force them to raise prices, including Walmart, Gap, Coca-Cola, and General Motors. Macy’s also expects to be affected, and some Apple products are expected to get more expensive as well, although not its new smartwatch or wireless headphones. … ‘There’s no way around it: Tariffs are taxes on American consumers,’ says David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation. He adds that some prices might increase as soon as the holiday shopping season.” (Yoni Blumberg, “Trump’s $250 Billion in China Tariffs Are Now in Effect – Here’s What Could Get More Expensive,” CNBC, 9/25/18)

FARMERS WANT TRADE, NOT AID: “The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation said in a statement that farmers ‘will always be in favor of trade over aid.’ With some 80 percent of the state’s soybean crop exported to China, the group says a ‘representative soybean and corn farm in Mississippi could lost anywhere from 51-68 percent of their net farm income if a 25-percent tariff were imposed on U.S. soybeans,’ which is precisely what China has done in response to tariffs Trump has imposed on goods sent here from China.” (Mac Gordon, “Who Knows How Long The Short-Term Pain of Tariffs Will Be to Farmers?” Jackson Clarion Ledger, 8/17/18)

  • “WE FARM. WE VOTE”: “The farm-gate value of Mississippi agriculture production is about $7.56 billion annually. Agriculture and forestry production add a combined $16.41 billion to the state’s economy. To be sure, Mississippi farmers are concerned about state issues as well as national policies and the realities of U.S. trade policies under the leadership of the Trump Administration.” (Sid Salter, “Election Stakes High for State’s Farmers,” Daily Journal, 8/1/18)

TARRIFS HURT MISSISSIPPI’S BIGGEST EXPORT CROPS. “’Here (in) Mississippi in terms of soybeans, we are extremely dependent on exports,’ said Slocum. ‘And China is by far the biggest importer of soybeans in the world.’ Overall, United States soybean exports to China total more than $12 billion annually. According to information from the United States Department of Agriculture, Mississippi exported $109.7 million in soybeans in 2017 – all to China. (Bobby Harrison, “Mississippi Farmers Brace for Tariffs’ Impact: ‘We Are The Ones Being Hit The Hardest,’ Mississippi Today, 6/28)

MISSISSIPPI PRODUCED $1.7 BILLION IN SOYBEANS IN 2017 “Soybeans are the biggest row crop in Mississippi. In 2017, it was valued at $1.7 billion. Mississippi exports about a third of that to China.” (Jack Weatherly, “Farmers to Get Aid On Chinese Tariff Impact,” Mississippi Business Journal, 8/29/18)ALREADY REELING FROM TRADE WAR, WEATHER TAKES TOLL ON MISSISSIPPI DELTA SOYBEAN HARVEST: “A rain-damaged soybean harvest in the U.S. Mississippi Delta is heaping more pain on farmers already suffering from a damaging trade war between the United States and China that has dragged prices to lows not seen in a decade.” (Karl Plume, “Damaged Soy Crop Hits Farmers Reeling From U.S.-China Trade War,” Reuters, 9/27/18)

TRADE SUPPORTS 339,500 MISSISSIPPI JOBS. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)