Michigan farmers warn tariffs could have negative impacts on the industry

Mar 12, 2018

Agricultural groups across the state say new tariffs on steel and aluminum could harm Michigan agriculture.

President Trump put a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum last week. Those tariffs could have marginal price impacts on everything from canned goods to office equipment.

Dave Armstrong is with GreenStone Farm Credit Services. He said farmers incomes have already been declining.

“As we have started to watch the impact of this lower net farm income before we even started to talk about trade now you add insult to injury to an already tenuous ag economy and that is a real concern.”

Jim Byrum is with the Michigan Agri-Business Association. He said he’s worried about retaliation from other countries.

“The immediate retaliation seems to be on goods from particular states where there is congressional leadership so we’re seeing some of those immediate targets but long term we’re going to see other countries around the world look at things like dairy, which impacts middle America.”

Trump has temporarily excluded Mexico and Canada from the tariffs pending the re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Byrum said ultimately agriculture will bear the brunt of the tariffs.