May 13, 2019 - Economy

Cotton: Sacrifice by farmers hurt by tariffs is "minimal" compared to troops overseas

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) acknowledged on "CBS This Morning" Monday that U.S. farmers will be hurt by retaliatory tariffs stemming from President Trump's trade war with China, but said that their sacrifice is "pretty minimal" compared to the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

"These tariffs are going to end up hurting both Chinese and some Americans, I'll grant you that. I think they'll ultimately hurt the Chinese more than they will in Americans, in part because the Chinese — companies and their government — have been cheating the United States for so long. There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make."

Driving the news: China's Finance Ministry said Monday that it will increase tariffs from 10% to 25% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, including peanuts, sugar, wheat and other agricultural products.

The big picture: Cotton, who represents a state that relies heavily on agriculture, did not refute Trump's false claims that China directly pays tariffs into the U.S. Treasury. Cotton instead wagered that the trade war will help his state and the country in the long-run.

  • Still, economic experts and White House adviser Larry Kudlow said it's inevitable consumers will see prices rise and that farmers — who are already living through their worst economic crisis in 30 years — will experience further tariff-related distress.

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