PEORIA, Ill. — One day before China announced another round of tariffs on American goods, Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) told WMBD the trade war must end “sooner rather than later.”
On Friday, China revealed plans to impose $75 billion in tariffs expected to affect the auto industry, American businesses that export goods to China and farmers. China will place additional tariffs of 5 percent or 10 percent on U.S. imports starting on September 1st, according to a statement posted by China’s Finance Ministry.
LaHood sat down with WMBD’s Eugene Daniel III on Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics, including U.S. tensions with the Chinese government and the trade war’s impact on Central Illinois farmers.
The Republican called tensions with China “a tough situation” citing more than 20 percent of soybeans made in Central Illinois go to China each year. Soybean sales have been among the hardest hit industries since the first round of tariffs were enacted last year.
“Farmers have stuck with the President generally on this,” said LaHood. “But we cannot be in a trade war one [or] two years from now.”
The Republican told Daniel he plans to run again in 2020 for Illinois’ 18th congressional district. It is one of the largest agricultural districts in the country. He acknowledges the intense strain the trade war places on Central Illinois farmers, saying they’ve become “collateral damage” in the dispute. He’d like to see the issue resolved within the next 6 months.
Though he does not believe in tariffs as a negotiation tactic, LaHood agrees the U.S. must stand up to China and its unfair practices. He claims China has taken advantage of the United States for 25 years, and gives President Donald Trump credit for addressing it.
Watch the full interview with LaHood, including his thoughts on the USMCA trade deal, the potential of losing U.S. House seats due to the 2020 Census, and controversial comments by President Trump regarding Jewish American voters and a potential pardon of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.