Virginia: New trade war would be "particularly troubling"

Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 8:14 PM EDT
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Officials in Virginia say a trade war with Canada, the European Union and Mexico would be "particularly troubling" for farmers, fishermen and wood growers. At stake are sales of lumber, leaf tobacco, seafood and other goods.

The state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a statement Friday that the nation should maintain trade agreements with its closest allies — not escalate tensions.

The statement followed Thursday's decision by President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Mexico and Canada. Those countries promised to quickly retaliate against U.S. exports.

In 2016, Virginia ag and forestry exports to Canada and Mexico were about $440 million or more than 15 percent of total exports.

Last year, Virginia sold about $300 million worth of goods to the European Union.

The European Union is the fifth largest agricultural market for U.S. farm and forestry products, based on export sales in 2017 of $11.5 billion.