White House Trade Adviser Pete Navarro downplayed the impact tariffs are having on the ag economy, calling the impact of the trade war between the U.S. and China “a rounding error,” compared with either country’s economic output. “My point is that it’s much less disruptive than these headlines would suggest,” Navarro told CNBC. “It’s also much more constructive as we see the adjustments made in terms of where investment is going to and where we’re going to build.” Politico says there is yet another move in the works. The administration is preparing to impose tariffs on another $200 million worth of Chinese imports. The Commerce Department is studying whether imported automobiles and parts threaten U.S. national security and warrant further restrictions. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst didn’t let Navarro’s comments go unanswered. “Mr. Navarro, America’s farmers are caught in the crosshairs of this game of ‘chess,’” Ernst says, “and offhand comments like the ones Mr. Navarro made disregard the people whose livelihoods depend on global trade.” She points out that more than 456,000 jobs in Iowa alone depend on trade, with the new tariffs threatening $977 million in state exports. “There’s no rounding error,” Ernst says.
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