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Ranchers are bracing to lose money as tariffs hit beef exports in the U.S. this week. Many of them still support President Trump. Anna King reports for the Northwest News Network.
ANNA KING, BYLINE: When it comes to the trade wars, JoHanna Symons and her ranch are at the mercy of bigger forces.
JOHANNA SYMONS: I feel like some of us little guys - our hands are just tied.
A. KING: Symons and her husband breed cattle, and they raise them for other ranchers. People call it gate to plate. They also butcher the cattle and even deliver to restaurants. As a Republican and a business owner, Symons likes Donald Trump and was happy he won. Then the trade wars heated up and the tariffs came down. Beef was one of the targets. From China, a 25 percent tariff starts Friday, and Canada slapped 10 percent on some beef products. That started Sunday. Symons doesn't regret her vote by any means, but she has started to worry.
SYMONS: We're at the mercy of overseas and at the mercy of the bigger players in the game.
KENT BACUS: We're hopeful that the administration is going to be successful, but we need them to be successful very soon.
A. KING: Kent Bacus heads trade for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He says China was a new and promising market for certain cuts of beef not popular in America. That just started a year ago, but now, he says the whole industry is discouraged. He calls some of the tariffs retaliatory, and he says it means governments are picking winners and losers.
BACUS: We need to solve these trade problems, but we don't need to do it on the backs of America's farmers and ranchers.
A. KING: Buck Taylor runs around 1,000 Red Angus mother cows in eastern Oregon. He doesn't blame Trump for the tariffs that might cost him.
BUCK TAYLOR: Any hit that we take now will be superseded by some accomplishments that he will probably make to make up for it.
A. KING: Taylor rests his hand on a metal field gate smiling. The day after the presidential election, he and his four grandchildren spray-painted it into an American flag.
TAYLOR: We're proud of it (laughter).
A. KING: And he's proud of the Trump flag that flies at the head of his driveway. For NPR News, I'm Anna King in the Diamond Valley, Ore.
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