Some 45 million metric tons of food grown in the United States ends up in China. Sales there will fall as it becomes more expensive. There’s more. As steel becomes more expensive, we’ll pay more for tomato sauce. That’s because most of it comes in cans, and those cans – so shiny we call them “brights” – will cost 25 percent more when cheaper steel disappears.
Did you know there are roughly 730,000 almonds in a ton? If President Trump’s suggested tariffs on steel and aluminum become policy, you’re probably going to have eat, say, 230,000 almonds a year to help keep our local economy on track.
That’s because we grow roughly 190,000 tons of almonds in Stanislaus County, and if we can’t sell those almonds in places like China, the European Union or Mexico, then we’re going to have to eat a lot more of them. A can day could become 100 cans a day.
When one country penalizes another by levying extra fees its products, the other country – say, oh, China – will penalize our products in retaliation. What does China import heavily? Food. Specifically, about 100,000 tons of almonds each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And with Australia vastly increasing its almond production, well, it’s not as if China can’t get its nuts somewhere else. The same is true of walnuts, peaches, dairy products and a whole lot more.