The Chinese Finance Ministry made the expected announcement on Monday that it would respond to the most recent hike in U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. China will raise tariff rates on $60 billion in U.S. imports, including agricultural products. The Ministry will boost tarif rates in June on more than 5,000 U.S. products. Agricultural commodities that will cost more in China include citrus fruit, berries, vegetables, and nuts. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both said over the last several days that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin work immediately on a new trade assistance package for U.S. farmers and ranchers in the event that China retaliated. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue echoed that pledge on Friday in a Twitter post. While at the G-20 Ministerial Meeting in Japan, Perdue said China indicated they would retaliate against the U.S. tariff hike. “If and when they do, President Trump is committed to supporting our producers who may be harmed by the retaliatory efforts of China,” Perdue said in Japan. An Agri-Pulse report says it wasn’t even a month ago that optimism was running high that the trade war would soon be ending. However, that optimism quickly disappeared after U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Muh-NOO-chin) returned from talks in Beijing.
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