President Donald Trump’s trade war officially launched Thursday, as tariffs were applied to $34 billion in Chinese goods.
“A trade war benefits no-one because it hurts free trade and the multilateral process,” China’s premier Li Keqiang told reporters from an economic summit in Bulgaria. “If a country wants to raise tariffs, China will respond to defend itself.”
Indeed, China almost immediately retaliated with tariffs on products ranging from soybeans to electric cars.
Even Fox News anchors seem flummoxed by Donald Trump’s plan, wondering about the impact on American manufacturing.
On Friday morning, Fox’s Leland Vittert pulled up a Wall Street Journal map to visualize the damage to the US economy—including in states like Tennessee, which went largely for Donald Trump in 2016. Speaking with Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black (R-Tennessee), Vittert wondered what would happen to industries as different as car manufacturing and whiskey.
“As we looked at it, every county in your state — nearly every county — was far more hurt by the tariffs than helped as you looked at the industries in the counties in Tennessee,” Vittert said.
Vittert then shared a statement from Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam.
“The additional cost of a lot of manufacturers we have, particularly the automotive industry, could be harmful to us,” the governor said. “Second, you worry about a lot of reciprocal type tariffs coming back at us that would effect a lot of the different items that we export out of Tennessee.”
Vittert pointed out that whiskey distillers in the state are also concerned.
“Do you share their concerns?” Vittert asked Black.
“I do share their concerns,” Black replied.