A farm lobbying group called Farmers for Free Trade released a national television advertisement, to warn the Trump administration the impact of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum last week that could impose tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China and place restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States. China's Ministry of Commerce has announced a plan for reciprocal tariffs on imported U.S. products worth about 3 billion dollars.
The advertisement features Indiana soy and corn farmer Brent Bible whose soy operation, like similar producers, relies heavily on exports to China. "Today, we farm about 5000 acres (20.23 sq km) and raise primarily corn and soybeans," Bible said in the 30 seconds spot. "I'm supportive of the Trump administration, but I have a lot of concerns about current actions that have been taken on trade and tariffs." "The fact that China is our number one soybean customer makes us very vulnerable. Our farm and many others like ours will be one of the first casualties of a trade war," Bible said in the ad.
At the end of the ad, it reads: "President Trump. Keep our economy strong. Protect free trade." The message to the president will run for the next two weeks on cable news channels including Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. It will run in the D.C. and Florida markets. The ad will also run online and in agricultural publications across the country.