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Ag industry pans Trump's China tariffs

President Donald Trump didn't make any friends in the agriculture industry Thursday. Trump announced $60 billion worth of annual tariffs on Chinese imports in a retaliatory move for China's assumed theft of American intellectual property. But the...

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Corn in a field west of Letcher. (Matt Gade/Republic)

President Donald Trump didn't make any friends in the agriculture industry Thursday.

Trump announced $60 billion worth of annual tariffs on Chinese imports in a retaliatory move for China's assumed theft of American intellectual property. But the tariffs didn't settle well with the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.

"We are greatly disheartened by President Trump's decision to place new tariffs against China," said S.D. Corn Growers Association President Troy Knecht. "That announcement is almost certain to provoke China into retaliating against U.S. agriculture."

Knecht said S.D. Corn Growers is working with the U.S. Grains Council to maintain and expand existing markets, but said "stable trade policy and strong global markets are imperative" to the industry.

The American Soybean Association wasn't excited about the tariffs, either.

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"Multiple reports indicate the Chinese have U.S. soybeans squarely in their sights for retaliation, and this decision places soybean farmers across the country in financial danger," said ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer.

Heisdorffer said the move will "cost many farmers their livelihoods."

Knecht echoed those comments, using history as a guide.

"History has shown that after tariffs are enacted, farmers are the ones who pay the price when foreign countries respond with their own actions," he said.

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