WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A dispute between two world trade powers, but at what cost? China announced a list of US goods including pork, fruit, wine and steel after President Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods. The possible tariff hike is causing tensions between two trading super powers.
“Nobody wins in a trade war,” UNCW Economics Professor Adam Jones said.
Tariffs are a tax on goods crossing borders and now the world’s two largest trading partners are going head to head.
Jones said the outcome of the current tariff threats between China and the US is unclear.
“Potentially the largest effect of this is the uncertainty that comes with it and the concern that the rules are changing and this today, what tomorrow? So China put in $3 billion worth of tariffs, well what’s it going to be tomorrow?” Jones said.
While Jones does not think it will affect North Carolina drastically because only about 7% of items are exported from our state to China, it could affect some.
“I think it could potentially affect the port especially if you talk about these tariffs expanding and moving into taxing lumber products and more of the goods we export from north carolina.”
The tariff on the table now is for fruits, pork, wine and steel pipe.
“The chinese tariff on pork products could fall on some of the rural areas in the US and the hog farmers more so than other people in the US,” Jones said.
The NC Pork Council and the NC Wine Council said they are not concerned right now, but it is something they are keeping an eye on.
“We are looking at trying to renegotiate some deals, which potentially leads to these tit for tat trade wars,” Jones said.
A war that Jones said some kind of resolution or deal should come out of.
“These two countries are so intertwined economically that we won’t get that far down the road. Before we get to the end of this line there will be a sorting out of the rules and regulations,” Jones said.
WWAY reached out to Smithfield Foods, which is owned by China’s largest meat producer, to see if it is concerned about pork being on the list. The company did not want to comment.
The State Port also told WWAY no one was available to comment today.