Potential for trade war sparks debate among Connecticut business owners, experts

SOMERS -- President trump’s proposed tariffs on Chinese goods stems from a 375-bllion dollar trade deficit with china

“And now China is threatening with basically putting tariffs back on our agricultural products,” said Jeffrey Lipton of Pleasantview Farms in Somers.

The tension is stoking fears of a trade war and financial loss for U.S. businesses.

“It hasn’t started yet since no tariffs have been actually imposed,” said Dr. David Cadden, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Strategy at Quinnipiac University. “What I see is belligerent talk on both sides.”

Beijing is threatening to impose a 25 % tariff on U.S. products like planes, cars and soybeans for example.

China is the largest importer of U.S. Soybeans.

“Not a very good thing if you’re an agricultural producer because we do send about 20 billion dollars’ worth of products,” Lipton said.

The potential for a trade war is bad news for soybean farmers like Lipton who stand to lose money.

But Lipton, who said he is not even making a profit from farming, is more concerned with China taking advantage of U.S. trade policies.

“I support the president and if we all have to bite the bullet a little bit in the beginning here to possibly get China to sit down and negotiate with our negotiators than I still support his move,” he said.

Lipton makes about $25,000 a year from soybeans, that’s about a quarter of his overall profits – all of which go towards paying for farm expenses.

Although the tariffs could push him out of the soybean business, Lipton said he’s not worried thanks to federal assistance from the government.

He also has other businesses that bring in income including, a restaurant and two golf courses.

Cadden, on the other hand, does not agree with the Trump administration’s approach to confronting china, which he says has benefited grately from the trade deficit.

“I don’t know if that necessarily is going to be the best solution,” Cadden said.

However, he does see the need for fresh negotiations.

“Hopefully it’s basically the opening gambits for trying to renegotiate some of the tariff relationships and trade relationships between the two countries,” Cadden said.

“…up until now China has not come to the table,” Lipton said.