SIDNEY, Maine — China has announced higher tariffs on 60 billion dollars worth of American goods in retaliation for President Trump's latest penalties on Chinese products.
One of the business sectors that will be hardest hit by the Chinese tariffs is agriculture.
It has some farmers here in Maine concerned.
"Any time you have disruptions in the market, it causes uncertainty," says Dale Cole, the owner of Cole Farm in Sidney.
"There are increases in the price of parts, labor, cattle prices have dropped with the drop in tariffs. It makes the business unsustainable."
Cole produces milk for Oakhurst Dairy Farm.
He says there's an additional concern in that these tariffs are coming at the start of the growing season.
"This season coming up is when we get the busiest and the most money is spent," says Cole.
Maine farmers won't be as hard hit as farmers in the Midwest, who produce exports like soybeans, which are being heavily targetted by the tariffs.
The Director of the Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, Nancy McBrady says, "There will not be a large impact overall to Maine agriculture and that's because China isn't the number one training partner with Maine, it's actually Canada."
McBrady says wild Maine blueberries and potatoes are the only agricultural exports in Maine large enough in size and scale to feel a significant impact.
However, farmers could feel the impacts as consumers, specifically in purchasing things like equipment, seed, and fertilizer.
"There could be other factors born by farmers that could make doing business more expensive, like equipment parts," says McBrady.
Major decisions made in China and Washington D.C. are keeping at least one Maine farmer awake at night, worried about losing employees to more lucrative industries.
Cole says, "People like to do this kind of work but they do need to get paid."
The director of communications at the Maine Bureau of Agriculture says it may still be too early to know the extent of the impacts the new tariffs could have on the agriculture industry here in Maine.