Kaine, Warner say escalating trade war threatens Virginia farmers

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WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are reacting to the escalating trade war with China.

The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. (Source: MGN)

According to a release, they are raising concerns following President Donald Trump's announcement imposing a 25-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, to which China said it is raising tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products beginning on June 1.

More than a year ago, a similar situation put pressure on commodities from Virginia, such as soybeans.

"The escalation means continued uncertainty for Virginia’s soybean farmers, who continue to brace for the worst every time the word ‘tariffs’ is said in the Oval Office. With the Trump Administration slapping China with additional tariffs and China planning to hit the U.S. right back, there seems to be no solution in sight,” said Warner and Kaine. “It’s one thing to be tough on China’s unfair and illegal trade practices, but the longer this disastrous lack of a strategy continues, the more it’ll cost and the more of an impact it will have on Virginians’ bank accounts.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture says China is Virginia's top agricultural export market for soybeans.

However, the Commonwealth exported more than $58 million in soybean products to China in 2018, which was down 83 percent from 2017.

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