Escalating Trade Tensions With China Threaten Idaho's International Exports

May 15, 2019

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says over 200,000 jobs in Idaho are supported by trade. The biggest export items threatened in the ongoing trade dispute are whey products and electronics equipment.
Credit BXGD / Flickr

The escalating trade tensions with China are not only impacting the national economy – they’re hitting Idaho businesses.

Gem State industries are feeling pressure from the tit-for-tat tariffs China and the U.S. continue to impose on one another. A 10% retaliatory glass tariff put in place by China is hitting local winemakers. According to the Idaho Press, big wineries are now buying up the domestic supply of wine bottles leaving smaller, local operations with few options.

In the beef industry, every head of cattle could decrease in value by more than $20 by the year 2023 if tariffs remain in place. With over a million head of cattle in the Gem State, that could cost ranchers more than $20 million over the next four years.

Credit Idaho Department of Commerce

Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds more than $289 million-worth of Idaho exports are threatened by the ongoing escalations between the United States and China. Whey and modified whey exports to the Middle Kingdom account for more than $35 million in Gem State exports. Those are at risk, as are more than $21 million-worth of exports in electronics equipment.

According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, China is the Gem State’s largest international trading partner by volume. In 2018, over $400 million in Idaho goods were exported to China. On its website, the department has an exhaustive, 26-page list of all the products impacted by the Trump Administration’s global trade policies.

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