China's decision to halt U.S. farm good purchases was made only to its state run firms.
Dave Salmonsen with the American Farm Bureau says there's still uncertainty about purchases, "We had heard that this cutoff of Chinese purchases of U.S. ag was by state-run companies and then, you're seeing some indication that it's just applying broadly to companies."
Salmonsen adds state-run firms were doing most of the buying of major U.S. farm goods, since they weren't being hit with tariffs. But China already had been buying fewer goods, going from $19 billion in 2017 to $9 billion last year.
Tariffs are now costing the U.S. billions according to a trade advocacy group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, which says June 2019 saw American businesses and consumers pay $6 billion in tariffs, up 74% from the same month last year. Making it one of the highest tariffed months in U.S. history.
The group says it took data from the Census Bureau, adding its the first look of the escalation of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 25% in May.
In total, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says Americans have paid more than $27 billion in extra import tariffs since the trade war began.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is defending the president's tariffs against China. He says something needs to be done about China and President Trump has asked for the Market Facilitation Program payments to help farmers.
In the past, Grassley says Presidents have disrupted trade without helping, "Nixon freezes the price of beef, just for a short period of time, but it ruined the beef industry in the United States, and Iowa was number one, and we've never been number one since 1972. Ford didn't do anything to help the farmers, when he put a ban on export of soybeans, because the price was getting so high. When the Russians invaded Afghanistan, Carter put a ban on exports to Russia, and didn't help the farmers."
Grassley says the president is keeping his word to help producers, "They also know that China's been cheating, not only farmers, but American manufacturers, American services and I get a sense that farmers are sticking with the president."