ST. PAUL — Rather than attending political rallies, the president should hunker down and strike a trade deal with China, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz told reporters on Friday, August 2.
The comment from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor came a day after President Donald Trump on Thursday announced another set of proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, eliciting more proposed retaliatory tariffs from China.
“Instead of going to political rallies in Ohio, fix the trade war," Walz said. "This is a president that during the campaign told us trade wars were easy to win and painless, tell that to producers across Minnesota. Tell that to consumers across Minnesota."
Beginning Sept. 1, Americans are set to see a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods, Trump announced as the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks closed out in Shanghai. The move shook global markets and sunk soybean, grain and pork futures on Friday.
Trump said the move was aimed at forcing a more favorable trade deal with Beijing.
"We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities but did not do so," Trump said in a series of tweets on Thursday. "Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States – this never happened, and many Americans continue to die!"
The latest tit-for-tat tariff feuds come after Trump imposed tariffs on 25% of $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to pressure the country and its companies to stop stealing American technology. China struck back with its own tariffs on $110 billion in American products, including agricultural commodities like soybeans and hogs.
Walz said he didn't take issue with the intention of imposing the tariffs, aiming to create a fairer trade landscape with China, but disagreed with the approach of using a "blanket tariff across all products" to address it.
"Minnesota consumers, I hope people know this, the tariffs have been hitting our farm producers really heavily," Walz said. "Now you’re going to start seeing on everything from tennis shoes to computers."