Dumb Trump trade war escalation cost on Virginia business: $899 million

donald trumpMemo to the POTUS: no one wins a trade war.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are again criticizing President Trump for escalating the trade war with China, this time by placing an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, which the Chinese government has recently matched with $60 billion in tariffs on American goods.

Warner and Kaine have long supported tougher trade negotiations, especially with countries like China that violate U.S. laws, but do not believe a trade war where Virginia farmers, manufacturers, and families pay the highest price is a responsible approach.

“Global trade wars threaten everything from Virginia’s emerging craft brewery industry to soybean farmers and now the coal fields. We have pushed President Trump for months to stop his foolish antics, form a coalition with like-minded allies he is currently alienating like Canada and Europe, and jointly confront China with a coordinated strategy to find an acceptable deal. This escalating trade war is going to cost many Virginians their jobs at a time when they will see rising prices for the goods they buy every day. While we agree that we should be targeting the theft of U.S. intellectual property by China, imposing across-the-board tariffs that stick hardworking American consumers with the costs is the wrong approach. Once again, we call on this Administration to stop using as collateral some of our most vital local industries in order to pursue a reckless and dangerous trade policy,” the Senators said.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the latest move will threaten an additional $899 million in Virginia exports.

According to the Chamber, Virginia’s hardest hit products from the new retaliatory tariffs are:

  1. Soybeans – $361 million of soybeans are exported annually to China. For a comprehensive list of Va.  soybean production, click here.
  2. Bituminous Coal (Not Agglomerated) – $105 million are exported annually to China
  3. Corrugated Paper Waste (Scrap unbleached) – $50 million exported annually to China

For months, Warner and Kaine have spoken out against President Trump’s escalating trade war and encouraged substantive negotiations. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed that China is the Commonwealth’s biggest export market for agricultural goods and suggested President Trump’s tariffs could hurt Virginia businesses and employees. President Trump has tweeted that “trade wars are good.”

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