Tariff Wars Promise New Pain for Agriculture Come October

According to the calendar, the current tariff war between the U.S. and China began in early July. However, according to V.M. (Jim) DeLisi, Chief at Fanwood Chemical, Inc., the roots of this dispute stretch back much, much further.

“Since 1989, there have been engagement with China over trade at least annually,” said DeLisi, speaking at the 2018 AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit in early August. “The U.S. has always made the same requests for some kind of solution from China and nothing has ever happened. The Trump Administration decided it was time to make something happen. In addition, the leadership of the U.S. trade office believes that the World Trade Organization was never designed to handle an economy not built on a profit model, which is why the country isn’t using this process in the dispute. So here we are.”

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The first round of tariffs, amounting to $50 billion in products under Docket Number USTR 2018-0018 Tranche 1, went into effect on July 6. “Luckily, all products impacting the specialty chemical industry were removed from this original list,” said DeLisi. In addition, the items listed for $16 billion in tariffs under Tranche 2, also excluded special chemicals.

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