Free Trade is Full of Holes When It Comes to Cheese

American cheesemakers are having a harder time finding an outlet for production through exports. China, Canada, and Mexico are three of the most important destinations for U.S. cheese. But in reaction to U.S. steel tariffs, these trading partners raised their tariffs on cheese. Getting caught in the crosshairs isn’t new for cheesemakers. It’s a sacred cow for many countries (pardon the pun) and therefore a popular pain point to exploit in trade disputes.

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Pickpocket stealing a mans wallet

How Does China Cheat? The White House Counts the Ways

In its June 2018 report, the White House creates a taxonomy of ways the Chinese government acquires American technologies and intellectual property to aggrandize Chinese productive capabilities, stand on the shoulders of American innovation, siphon information from open and proprietary sources, and enlist Chinese nationals to accrue knowledge through research arms of universities and companies in the United States.

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cocoa-tariffs

What is a tariff? An economist explains

It’s important to first understand what a tariff actually is and does before we can determine whether Trump’s new trade barriers are good or bad.

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NAFTA milk

Will the U.S. and Canada Cry Over Spilled Milk in NAFTA?

Production limits and price-setting means Canadian milk drinkers pay significantly more than they would in a free market. Conversely, for certain lucrative and in-demand dairy product ingredients, Canadian dairy boards have set prices at or below international market prices. U.S. and other global dairy farmers have argued this offers Canadian exports an advantage in third markets, while driving global prices and farm receipts down. Will NAFTA 2.0 change any of this?

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fabulous contemplative cow

The U.S. Beef Industry Will Take NAFTA Well Done

The implementation of NAFTA has allowed U.S. beef trade to flourish, and the efficient supply chains developed under NAFTA have also helped the U.S. beef industry become more competitive in Asia.

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poker

Trump Upped the Ante in High Stakes Game of Tariff Poker

The biggest chunk of tariffs in the Great Tariff War of 2018 is between the United States and China, beginning with two rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs worth around $50 billion against one another. The United States just raised on the ante by another $200 billion. China will not fold; they will go “all in” in this poker game, but we don’t know what that means yet as they hold their cards close.

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Young farmer in corn fields

Trade, Respectfully

Farmers are price takers. For years, the export opportunities created by market opening policies have been positively reflected the price they get for their corn. But as we spoke about current trade policy with its frequent tariff announcements, the farmers were checking the current price of corn. “We’re down to 3.6!” a farmer from Michigan interjects as we talk about China.

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whiskey

The Sobering Reality of a Tariff War

There is plenty of collateral damage in a tariff war because the one-upmanship spills over beyond the sectors named in the original complaint (steel for example), sweeping in producers like farmers for maximum political effect. The other dirty little secret in tariff wars is that they provide cover for governments to protect the producers of products facing normal market competition. That’s what might just be motivating our closest trading partners to put American whiskey on their lists for tariff retaliation.

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China United States Trade

U.S.-China “Trade War” Timeline

Unconventional Trade Warfare Since taking office, the Trump administration has been building its case against Chinese practices they view as unfair to American businesses, including subsidization of industrial production and requirements to transfer proprietary U.S. technologies. The Trump administration has also taken aim at the opaque connections between state-directed and strategic private enterprises, seeking to […]

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barn

Wisconsin Farmers Are Rooting Against Ginseng Tariffs

In early April, China announced $3 billion worth of tariffs on 128 U.S. goods including fruit, wine, nuts - and the type of American ginseng grown in Marathon, Wisconsin. With a new 15 percent tariff on their ginseng, Wisconsin growers worry they will lose sales to Canadian producers who compete for the same customers in China.

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