U.S. Senator Fears Trade War, With Tariff Announcement

BEATRICE – Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse fears a trade war following President Trump’s announcement of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.

Sasse met this week with Nebraska agriculture leaders and the Mexico-U.S. Ambassador.

:15                  “farmers and ranchers”

Sasse says it’s important to retain a healthy trade relationship with countries, such as Mexico.

:04                  “for our crops”

Nebraska House Republican Adrian Smith issued a statement saying he understands the President’s desire to end unfair trade practices, but said the best way to accomplish that is through targeted policies, “rather than blanket tariffs”.   Smith says agriculture is often the first to be targeted with retaliatory measures by other countries, and tariffs also translate into higher costs for U.S. consumers.  Smith serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade policy.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson called the President’s announcement for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, “irresponsible”.  He says even with exempting Mexico and Canada the action puts at risk more than $3.72 billion in agriculture exports from Nebraska…about 58% of the state’s total export market.

Farm Bureau Senior Economist Jay Rempe says the top six markets for Nebraska ag exports are Mexico, Canada, Japan, the European Union, China and South Korea.  He says exports to Mexico, Canada and China are most at risk, but Japan is also in the top ten countries exporting steel to the United States.

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