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

Posted: Updated:

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.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Early flu prevention

    Monday, September 24 2018 8:13 AM EDT2018-09-24 12:13:14 GMT

    The key to not getting the flu this year, getting your flu shot starting now. Local health officials are hoping for a better flu season this year as flu season begins in a little over a month.

    More >>

    The key to not getting the flu this year, getting your flu shot starting now. Local health officials are hoping for a better flu season this year as flu season begins in a little over a month.

    More >>
  • Man swims across canal, jumps over fences and onto truck to try and out run police

    Man swims across canal, jumps over fences and onto truck to try and out run police

    Monday, September 24 2018 1:21 AM EDT2018-09-24 05:21:55 GMT

    KENNEWICK, WA- A Kennewick man did just about everything to get away from police Sunday. Kennewick Police said it all started when 25-year-old Dah Ler went into someones backyard, opened an unlocked back door, and attempted to go inside in the 1200 block of W. Bruneau Ave. Ler was confronted by the homeowner and then took off. Officers found Ler on the north canal bank near the 1100 block of W Bruneau Place where he then swam across the canal. When they tried to talk to him, he took...

    More >>

    KENNEWICK, WA- A Kennewick man did just about everything to get away from police Sunday. Kennewick Police said it all started when 25-year-old Dah Ler went into someones backyard, opened an unlocked back door, and attempted to go inside in the 1200 block of W. Bruneau Ave. Ler was confronted by the homeowner and then took off. Officers found Ler on the north canal bank near the 1100 block of W Bruneau Place where he then swam across the canal. When they tried to talk to him, he took...

    More >>
  • Craigslist Scamming around Tri-Cities

    Craigslist Scamming around Tri-Cities

    Sunday, September 23 2018 11:59 PM EDT2018-09-24 03:59:18 GMT

    Online shopping has easily become one of the main ways we buy things, whether it's clothes, electronics, or even groceries. But while its is convenient, it's also risky and some popular websites are now becoming targets for scammers. 

    More >>

    Online shopping has easily become one of the main ways we buy things, whether it's clothes, electronics, or even groceries. But while its is convenient, it's also risky and some popular websites are now becoming targets for scammers. 

    More >>