How Trade War Is Affecting Local BusinessesPosted: Updated:
From the fields, sprout soybeans and in the past, the Robbins family has sold its soybeans to China, which is the biggest buyer of soybeans in the world. But over the last year as China and the U.S. have both imposed tariffs, that market has largely gone away.
"They've now shifted and are buying from South America so the supply chain now backs up into the U.S. We have too many soybeans now because we have not been able to sell those soybeans to China," said Ron Robbins of Robbins Family Grain, North Harbor Dairy.
Robbins says because of that, soybean prices have dropped nearly $3 a bushel. It's had an almost $300,000 impact on the farm he part owns, Robbins Family Grain and North Harbor Dairy.
Robbins says the same thing is happening with milk powder, which is in turn depressing milk prices.
"Here we do both grain and dairy so we're really bearing the brunt of it on our farm," he said.
And It's only getting worse as the trade war ramps up. Monday, China announced plans to hike up tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports after the Trump Administration raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent..
"It's a devastating impact to agriculture," said Robbins. "Farmers can not afford to be caught in the middle of a trade war."
On the flip side, the U.S. imposed tariffs are creating problems for places like Massey's Furniture Barn in Watertown.
Shawn Massey/ President, Owner of Massey's Furniture Barn: "a 10 percent you can kind of work through it but not 25."
President and owner Shawn Massey says China is a big supplier of furniture and the components that make it.
His store orders some of its furniture directly from China and while it has split the previous 10 percent tariff with most vendors, Massey says the tariff hike changes the game.
"Those orders overseas right now I'm contemplating canceling them this week, because I can't absorb a 25 percent tariff," said Massey.
That said, Massey says he thinks long-term the tariffs will be a good thing for our economy. He thinks manufacturing will move back to the United States.