Hearings are underway in Washington, D.C. on a proposed list of Chinese products the U.S. has targeted with 25 percent tariff. The three-day event features testimony from more than 100 witnesses. One of those testifying is farmer Michelle Erickson-Jones, a member of Farmers for Free Trade, who says the U.S. farm community is already feeling the effects of the threatened tariff response by China. The Montana rancher says the market interruptions can “devastate ag prices and drive U.S. farmers out of business.”
The hearings come as the U.S. and China are discussing a potential agreement that would soften China’s tariff stance on U.S. agricultural products. The administration over the weekend hinted lifting an export ban on China’s ZTE, a smartphone maker, as part of the talks that are ongoing this week, in exchange for status quo agricultural trade. A delegation from China is visiting with U.S. trade officials in Washington, D.C. in a possible effort to avoid a trade war.