Local farmers concerned about potential tariffs on Chinese goods - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local farmers concerned about potential tariffs on Chinese goods

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PATERSON, WA - The White House is downplaying concerns of an all-out trade war between the United States and China. President Trump amped up those fears overnight with the unexpected announcement that he wants to add $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.

Wall Street is responding today, where stocks at one point dipped more than 700 points in afternoon trading. 

Administration officials stress this is only a proposal, and so far, the tariff threats are only a war of words.

Farmers all over America are worried that this tariff might be put in place, including some of the local wheat farmers here in Washington.

"It really worries you when your consumers aren't happy," said Nicole Berg, a Berg Farms partner. "Nobody is happy; can we sell our wheat?"

Farmers all across the United States are bracing for what could be some serious losses in the Chinese market after President Trump announced an intention to impose a 25 percent tariff. We spoke with Berg about what this will mean for her business.

"The wheat industry is in a high, high uncertainty... especially when you are hearing from your customers that they will go other places," Berg said. "Uncertainty is a great word to describe the wheat industry right now."

Wheat is the fifth largest product coming out of Washington. With prices constantly changing, farmers like Berg are barely making a profit as it is.

"A bushel of wheat is about 64 pounds, and I can only get five dollars for my bushel of wheat," Berg explained. "I can even barely buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. They say a bushel of wheat can make about 338 bagels. But under five-dollar wheat - that means me as a farmer I can only afford three bagels; that's not right."

This tariff is just another worry for these farmers. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans Pacific Partnership deal, leaving wheat farmers at risk of losing Japan, one of their biggest imports of wheat.

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