'Trade War' Could Cause Farmers Profits In NE LA To Plummet

By: Gwendolyn Ducre, KNOE-TV

East Carroll Parish, LA- Ted Schneider is a 35-year farmer in East Carroll Parish. He has 3,600 acres of soybeans, cotton, and corn, which are China's largest import from the U.S.

He said he's already battling with the weather before harvest, and now it's the tariffs he's worried about.

"Loss in GDP for East Carroll Parish would be pretty big, but again, we hope for a resolution to these issues and hope it's something we don't have to face, " Schneider said.

The Trump administration said the tariffs are necessary to stop China from stealing intellectual property and overproducing metals.

"Do you know if we knock down the trade deficit by just a little bit we pick up in GDP that is just 25% we pick up 1 point," said the president.

The Wall Street Journal found Chinese tariffs hit areas that supported President Trump's the hardest.

In Northeast Louisiana, Union, Tensas, and Claiborne Parishes will lose in the double digits of their entire GDP.

Other data showed good news. The cotton and soybean market went up right after the tariffs went into effect at midnight.

"There were a lot of cancellations from China, but a lot of other countries stepped up and bought soybeans. So, if we lose China as a trading partner, it would at least be partially made up by other countries who would like to import American agriculture products," Schneider said.

There's no answer how long that would last, but Schneider said there's a way to make sure it does.

"I feel like our government will protect their American farmers if they pass the farm bill that is currently being negotiated in Washington," Schneider said.

We've tried to talk to Congressman Ralph Abraham who sits on the House Agriculture Committee.

His office said he wasn't free for an interview Friday, but said his views have not changed from a statement sent last week and he's called on the USDA to protect American farmers.

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