China adds beef, soybeans to tariffs

Midwest agriculture producers are reeling after China has announced more tariffs on agriculture imports, including beef and soybeans, to a list already including ethanol and pork products.

China has raised tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods including soybeans, aircraft and automobiles in response to Washington's increased duties on Chinese goods in a technology dispute.
    
The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday criticized the U.S. move as a violation of global trade rules and said China was acting to protect its "legitimate rights and interests."
    
It said a 25 percent tariff would be imposed and the date the charges will take effect would be announced later.

The American Soybean Association, a lobbying group that says it represents 21,000 U.S. soybean producers, says China's proposed 25-percent tariff on soybeans would be "devastating" to U.S. farmers. China is the largest consumer of U.S. soybeans, buying about one-third of all U.S. soybean production each year, the group says.
    
Association President John Heisdorffer, an Iowa farmer, is calling on the Trump administration to withdraw its proposed tariffs and meet with soybean farmers to discuss ways to improve competitiveness without resorting to tariffs.
    
The association says soybean farmers lost an estimated $1.72 billion on Wednesday morning alone as soybean futures tumbled.
    
"That's real money lost for farmers, and it is entirely preventable," Heisdorffer says in a statement.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. lost a trade war with China "years ago."
    
In a tweet Wednesday after China announced a list of U.S. products that might be subject to a 25 percent tariff, Trump said: "We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S."
    
China announced tariffs worth $50 billion on a series of U.S. products including soybeans, whiskey and cars.
    
Chinese officials said they were obliged to act after the U.S. announced plans for retaliatory tariffs in an escalating dispute over China's technology program and other trade issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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