Arizona cotton farmers weigh in on possible tariffs

Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 21:05:12-04

"It makes you nervous when your commodity is front and center," said Kevin Rogers, a cotton farmer. 

Rogers is talking about cotton, a $12 billion industry in Arizona. 

"Agriculture tends to be one of the first groups that gets put on the table as a pawn so to speak," Rogers said. 

That table involves trade talks between the US and China. 

One that saw China threaten to levee a new 25 percent tax on exports into the country. 

Exports that included soybeans, corn, vehicles, and cotton. 

"It can have devastating effects on the market if there's tariffs that come up then those countries probably would think twice before they buy our product," Rogers said. 

Leaving the door open for other countries to fill that need. 

"We have competitors around the globe so those competitors would be there to step up and say hey we'll take care of this, you bet," Rogers said. 

China's move comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump unveiled a list of Chinese imports targeted for increased tariffs

Neither country has implemented the new fee's just yet and has until the end of May to come to a mutual agreement. 

"We're optimistic, farmers are historically optimistic," Rogers said. 

Optimistic because Rogers knows what types cards the US is holding

And he believes the trade dust-up will clear quickly with the Arizona farmer ending up on the winning side. 

"They love our cotton, our quality is second to none around the globe, and so they want our product," Rogers said.