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Monday, June 18, 2018, 6:48 a.m.

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Heartland in trade-war cross hairs

As disputes with allies deepen, farmers see markets closing

By Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

This article was published June 2, 2018 at 1:58 a.m.

volkswagen-cars-are-lifted-inside-a-delivery-tower-at-a-plant-in-wolfsburg-germany-new-us-tariffs-on-metals-from-the-european-union-and-other-allies-have-given-rise-to-threats-of-retaliation

Volkswagen cars are lifted inside a delivery tower at a plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. New U.S. tariffs on metals from the European Union and other allies have given rise to threats of retaliation.

If a trade war is coming, the cheese-makers of Wisconsin are standing in the line of fire. So are the farmers of the Great Plains and the distillers of Kentucky. And the employees of well-known American brands like Harley-Davidson and Levi Strauss.

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RBear says... June 2, 2018 at 8:05 a.m.

If these trade wars continue, it could begin to set the US agricultural industry up for bigger problems. It will allow other agri markets to grow such as Africa, a region that has been relatively untapped at this point. From a Brookings Institute study of the area, "At 200 million hectares, sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s uncultivated land that can be brought into production. Africa uses only 2 percent of its renewable water resources compared to 5 percent globally."
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All it would take is for China or other major economic countries to invest in farming in Africa to start to tip the scale. Of course, the bigger issue will be keeping political unrest in the region under control. That's probably the biggest challenge. Labor is definitely not and neither is availability of natural resources.

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