Top 15 most exposed counties to China’s tariffs

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President Trump‘s fresh tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods set the stage for price increases hitting American companies and consumers. So how does it affect the everyday American? We explain.
USA TODAY

As President Donald Trump threatens China with another $200 billion in tariffs, some U.S. industries are still assessing the damage from China’s retaliatory levies from the first round.

That round amounted to $34 billion in tariffs in a tit-for-tat trade war between the two nations. China targeted a range of commodities that went heavy on agricultural and seafood products, along with U.S.-made cars.

But where did the tariffs hit hardest around the country? Just as certain states took bigger hits, so did some counties.  Generally, those counties likely to see the biggest percentage of their workforce impacted by the tariffs are those with small populations and a high level of dependency on a single industry, from chicken parts to construction machinery manufacturing.

Here is a Brookings Institution analysis of the top 15 counties listed by share of local jobs in impacted industries in 2017 that could face harder times because of the tariffs:

Aleutians East Borough, Alaska

Number of jobs affected: 1,891

Share of local employment: 78.4%

Seafood product prep and packaging

Sargent County, North Dakota

Number of jobs affected: 1,837

Share of local employment: 63.1%

Construction machinery mfg.

Bristol Bay Borough, Alaska

Number of jobs affected: 626

Share of local employment: 51.9%

Seafood product prep and packaging

Aleutians West Census Area, Alaska

Number of jobs affected: 1,769

Share of local employment: 51%

Seafood product prep and packaging

Parmer County, Texas

Number of jobs affected: 2,535

Share of local employment: 43.5%

Animal (except poultry) slaughtering

Colfax County, Nebraska

Number of jobs affected: 2,172

Share of local employment: 41.8%

Animal (except poultry) slaughtering

Dixon County, Nebraska:

Number of jobs affected: 709

Share of local employment: 41%

All other misc. food mfg.

Scott County, Mississippi

Number of jobs affected: 5,664

Share of local employment: 41%

Poultry processing

Bladen County, North Carolina

Number of jobs affected: 5,036

Share of local employment: 39%

Animal (except poultry) slaughtering

Dooly County, Georgia

Number of jobs affected: 1,389

Share of local employment: 37.7%

Poultry processing

Power County, Idaho

Number of jobs affected: 1,226

Share of local employment: 37.5%

Frozen fruit, juice, and vegetable mfg.

Evans County, Georgia

Number of jobs affected: 1,681

Share of local employment: 37.5%

Poultry processing

McDonald County, Missouri

Number of jobs affected: 2,638

Share of local employment: 37.3%

Poultry processing

Morrow County, Oregon

Number of jobs affected: 2,072

Share of local employment: 35.8%

Frozen fruit, juice, and vegetable mfg.

Carroll County, Indiana

Number of jobs affected: 1,835

Share of local employment: 35.8%

Animal (except poultry) processing

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Three out of five of the most affected counties on the list are in Alaska, a reflection of how dependent some counties are on the seafood industry, which is being hit hard by tariffs.

China sells more to the U.S. than the U.S. sells to China. That narrows China’s options in finding U.S.-made products on which to levy tariffs. As such, U.S. agricultural products became a big target.

“It would be hard for China to match U.S. tariffs without touching agricultural products,” Paul Armstrong-Taylor, professor of economics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.  

 

 

 

 

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