China places four-page supplement in Iowa to sway farmers on trade war

Fruit of a president’s folly: Chinese newspaper takes out four-page supplement in Iowa

The China Daily ran a four-page advertising supplement in Iowa’s Des Moine Register on Sunday in an effort to combat Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

It was aimed at the state’s soybean farmers calling American tariffs on China “the fruit of a president’s folly”.

The special ad section was paid for and prepared solely by China Daily, an official publication of the People’s Republic of China.

It featured several articles including one explaining how the U.S.-China trade dispute is forcing Chinese importers to purchase soybeans from South America instead of the U.S.

A Tweet by Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman for President Barack Obama, called the move a “Pretty savvy political play being run by China,’’

Iowa is a critical state for Trump and his Republican allies at they struggle to maintain constituency support there while on the international sphere, US is having a trade war with China.

The American government added an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports on Monday, on top of the $50 billion in goods already being hit with tariffs. China, in response to U.S. tariffs, targeted $110 billion of goods from the U.S.

Joe Murphy from the Greater Des Moines partnership which is the regional chamber of commerce said that Iowans were nervous.

“We’re obviously an agricultural state. We have a significant presence in advanced manufacturing, and our state economy depends on our ability to have access to those foreign markets.”

Along with the article about soybean imports, the advertising supplement also featured an article that resonated  with the long business ties between China and the American heartland by highlighting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “fun days in Iowa’’ during trips to the state in 1985 and 2012.

The choice of newspapers was no mistake by the Chinese government as Iowa is a critical state for Trump and his Republican allies as they try to maintain constituent support.

Iowa is a state that’s particularly felt the effects of the trade war according to a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign against tariffs highlighting the impact by state.

According to the chamber, exports threatened by tariffs exceed $1 billion in Iowa, including $30.8 million in soybeans. The chamber added that the state has 456,300 jobs supported by trade.

According to a study by Iowa State University, farmers in the state stand to lose up to $2.2 billion from US trade wars.

An Iowa State University economist Chad Hart told the Des Moines register that Iowa farmers could lose up to USD$624 million, depending on how long the tariffs are in place and the speed at which producers can find new markets for their soybeans.

U.S. soybean prices have fallen about 12 percent since March, when the U.S.-China trade dispute began.


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