Jul 8, 2018

What they're saying: Local industries react to Trump's trade war

President Trump. Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

Local agricultural industries caught in the crossfire of President Trump's trade disputes with some of the country's biggest trading partners are increasingly worried that they will suffer from retaliatory tariffs on American goods.

Why it matters: From Florida to Wisconsin to Washington state, Trump risks threatening the very industries he pledged to protect on the campaign trail — and his tariffs could mean a brutal blow for the economy in states that he won in 2016.

What they're saying:

“[A]t this moment I don’t know what is going to happen, we’re all just in limbo. We’ve been very fortunate over the last several years with the Chinese market."
— Gary Nichols, a lobster fisherman who voted for Trump, told CBS Miami
  • Washington's seed industry could face issues, too. Dave Armstrong, the CEO of Sakata Seed Company, told the Skagit Valley Herald that the company's top customers are in Asia, Europe, Canada, and Mexico — and a prolonged trade war could cause the company to consider moving its operations elsewhere.
"It’s a global hub of seed movement. The actions being taken and threatened would absolutely add complexity and barriers to our ability to move seed in and out of the U.S."
— Dave Armstrong, the CEO of Sakata Seed Company
  • Wisconsin's dairy industry is facing tariffs from Mexico, Canada and China. Jeff Schwager, the president of Sartori Company, a cheese producer, told CBS Chicago that Trump's tariffs will cut approximately $40 million from his company’s $265 million annual cheese sales:
"I have yet to find an example where tariffs have worked for the long term good of the country that first imposes them. ... If this is going to go on long term, the customers down there will look for an alternative product without the tariffs on it."
— Jeff Schwager, the president of Wisconsin's Sartori Company

The backdrop: North American and European trading partners are already dealing with their own trade disputes with the U.S. in response to Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and the threat of additional tariffs on foreign automobiles.

  • As a result, about 21,000 companies in the United States have filed for tariff exclusions, claiming that Trump’s trade war could pose a risk to their business.

Go deeper:

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Very small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 900,000 and the global death toll surpassed 45,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 12,000 deaths.

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The FBI processed a record 3.7 million gun background checks in March — more than any month previously reported, according to the agency's latest data.

Driving the news: The spike's timing suggests it may be driven at least in part by the coronavirus.