Californian agriculture hardest hit by U.S.-China trade friction

2019-07-18 17:43

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 17 (Xinhua) -- California's agriculture was "the hardest hit" in the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute, with the biggest drop in exports to China recorded, a state assembly leader said Wednesday.

American wine exports to China have fallen by 25 percent, with 90 percent of the loss coming from California, since U.S. President Donald Trump escalated trade frictions with China by imposing steep tariffs early this year, Phil Ting, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, told Xinhua ahead of a hearing on the effects of U.S.-China trade dispute held in downtown San Francisco.

"Obviously, we're very concerned about the tariffs that have been put in place over the last couple of years... in particular tariffs on agricultural goods, which have a very negative impact on California, the largest agricultural-producing state in the country," he said.

These exports covered wine, fruits, vegetables, and many other things that get exported from California over to China, Ting explained.

"We've already seen a devastating effect in terms of exports to China," Ting said. That's why his committee and the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy are jointly holding a hearing on the effects of the friction on the economy of California and the United States as a whole.

Ting expressed hope that the trade tension would end soon without leaving a long-term impact on the Californian economy.

The Golden State wants to continue to foster a stronger economic relationship with China, he added.

With the frictions ongoing, American consumers will be paying more for goods imported from China, like clothing, Ting explained.

"We're going to see a potential loss of jobs, especially in the agricultural industry," which is already a very challenging industry to employ into making a living out of."

The hearing was attended by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Chinese Deputy Consul General Ren Faqiang, other California Assembly members, and representatives from Californian business, education and industry communities, among others.

In 2018, China was California's third largest trading partner, right after Mexico and Canada, and investors from China are a leading source of Foreign Direct Investment to California, according to an Assembly Committee report.

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