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Farmers Feel the Impact of Tariff Increases and Anticipate Effects on Ohio's Economy

photo of Chinese tariffs
Ohio's farmers are feeling the effects of the additional tarriffs, which some say will eventually affect Ohio's economy.

In response to President Donald Trump's administration announcing $16 billion in new tariffs against China, Chinese officials Wednesday hit back with even more tariffs. The escalating dispute is being felt in Ohio's farm community. 

Ohio farmers have been lobbying the Trump administration to tamp down the trade war.

"Clearly we haven't made our case as well as we'd like to," saidOhio Farm Bureau spokesman Joe Cornely.

He said retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, Canada and China make it tougher for farmers to sell their products overseas and that will have ripple effects throughout Ohio's economy.

"When the farmer's income goes down, the local car dealer, mom and pop grocery, the bank is going to feel the pinch," he said.

Sankalp Sharma is an agricultural economist at Kent State University's Tuscarawas campus.

"If you think about it, it's really unfortunate," he said.

Sharma said total farm income is already down about half of what it was in 2013. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has promised up to $12 billion in farm aid.

"This is barely going to tide over the farmers, perhaps for a season or season and a half," he said.

He said it's a temporary fix to a problem that could have long-term consequences.