soybeans and harley davidsons

Soybeans and Harleys



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so far fallout all to familiar



Video: Soy, Hogs and Harleys



How did Harleys and hogs become unlikely weapons in a looming trade war between the United States and China?

It’s all about politics, and hitting politicians where it hurts.
To understand the Chinese tariff threat and what it means, you have to leave Washington, D.C. and go to a place like Iowa.

Think about Iowa and you picture farms, maybe corn and soybeans, livestock, hogs, and delicious bacon.

“The next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.”

You may also think about the Iowa Caucus. The state which holds the first presidential nomination contests has an out-sized impact on US politics.

Ben Tracy, CBS News Foreign Correspondent: “China took its gloves off; the Chinese government says it will put a 25% tariff on one hundred and six US products, including soybeans, corn . . .”

Chinese Official: “It takes two to Tango.”

In 2016, Iowa switched from Democrats to Republicans, helping to elect Donald Trump president.

In politics however, nothing is permanent. If Iowa’s economy goes south, voters could sour on Republicans in November’s mid-term elections.

Iowan Man: “All we do here in this state, especially in small towns is based on an agricultural theme of some sort or another.”

And that’s not the only state that will feel an impact of China’s retaliation. Car manufacturers in Michigan will also be hit, as well as orange crop producers in Florida.

These three states have key governors’ races in November, as well as elections that could help determine whether Republicans keep control of the US Congress.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives: “I’m just not a fan of broad-based, across the board tariffs because you’ll have a lots of unintended consequences; you’ll have a lot of collateral damage.”

Oh, and Wisconsin, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state, grows lots of ginseng, and builds Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two other targets of Chinese tariffs.

Using retaliatory tariffs to inflict political pain in the US is not exactly new.

BBC Newscaster: “America has imposed tough tariffs on imported steel, threatening a trade war.”

Back in 2002, president George W. Bush tried to impose steels tariffs. The EU responded by hitting US cars, ever popular Florida oranges and bourbon from Kentucky, the home state of Republican leader, Mitch McConnell.

Later, Bush relented.

So will this time be different?

Some companies here in the US that are effected are already angry.

The stock market, which Trump loves to boast about, has taken a steep drop. The president talks tough, but his advisers are hinting there could be a negotiated settlement before any tariffs go into effect.

Larry Ludlow, Director, White House National Economic Council: “This is all part of the fairly delicate, broad-based negotiation. But it’s long overdue.

We can fix this thing; it’s going to have a great ending.”

Donald Trump bills himself as a different kind of president. But the fallout so far from this trade dispute is all to familiar.

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1. China and the United States are fighting each other with warships, jet fighters and tanks. True or false?

2. What do people associate with Iowa? What comes to mind when people think of Iowa?

3. “China took its gloves off . . .” and “It takes two to tango.” What do these mean?

4. Is there a link, connection or relationship between the economy and politics (in Iowa)?

5. Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives is in favor of protectionism. Is this entirely correct, partially correct, in the middle, yes and no, mostly false or entirely false?

6. Did the Chinese government impose a blanket of tariffs on all US exports to China? Why have they impose tariffs selectively?

7. Is there a precedence for tariffs or is this unprecedented?

8. How has the stock market reacted?

9. Is the Trump administration optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome?

A. Does your country trade extensively with other nations?

B. Is there complete free trade, partial free trade, tariffs and quotas or complete protectionism?

C. There are a lot of debates, arguements and disagreements regarding trade. Yes or no?

D. What will happen in the future?

E. What is the “ideal” situation?


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