The $47bn industry, which largely backed Trump, has been buffeted repeatedly as the Trump administration has halted or reopened trade talks and proposed punitive tariffs aimed at protecting American jobs.
This time, an executive order imposing tariffs on $50bn in Chinese imports prompted China to target 128 U.S. products for steeper trade barriers, including many crops and animal products.
China's first action would take aim at $3bn in U.S. exports by imposing a 15-percent tariff on products including fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut products, and wine, according to a Chinese Commerce Ministry statement. A second phase of 25-percent tariffs targets $1.9bn in U.S. exports including pork — a blow to Midwestern and Plains states.
Soy, by far the biggest agricultural export to China, was left off the list.
The targets and omissions follow a common playbook in trade wars, which aim to create political troubles for adversaries. Food is a favorite quarry because it carries disproportionate political capital — few people riot over the price of tech gadgets, but they've been known to overthrow governments over a food shortage or price spike.
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