5 Surprising Potential Victims of Trump’s Trade War

What do lobster, whiskey, and pandas have in common? Not much — but they could all soon become victims of Trump's trade war with China. 🐼🥃

5 surprising casualties of U.S.-China tensions over trade and tariffs


China’s tariffs are making U.S. lobster exports plunge — and giving a boost to Canada. From January to June 2019, the U.S. exported less than 2.2 million pounds of lobster to China — an 80% drop from the same period in 2018 according to the Associated Press.


China is one of the fastest growing wine markets in the world — and it’s getting harder for U.S. vintners to compete. Taxes and tariffs now add a 93% surcharge on American bottles — double the amount added to French wines. U.S. wine exports to China were down 37% by volume in the first half of 2019 compared to 2018 according to The Wine Institute.


Pandas are a historic part in U.S.-China diplomacy. America first got a pair of pandas after President Nixon’s trip in 1972. Since, China has loaned pandas to the U.S. in 10-year lease agreements — with possible extensions. In December 2020, the extended 20-year lease of The National Zoo’s Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will be up — and negotiations over the agreement haven’t started. But in May 2019, the last two giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo were sent home to China when their lease wasn’t renewed. The zoo said their departure was unrelated to the trade war.


The U.S. whiskey industry — already facing steep tariffs from its largest customer, the European Union, is seeing a potential diminishing market. China’s tariff on American whiskey is 25% —and set to hit 35% on December 15, 2019. About $15 million in American spirit exports to China have faced retaliatory tariffs Since July 2018 based on data from the Distilled Spirits Council.


The U.S.-China trade war is hurting another Apple. The value of apple exports in the 2018-19 season fell 22% to $854 million. So, U.S. growers saw China as a key emerging market before the country put retaliatory tariffs — that hit 60% on Sept. 1, 2019. The USDA expects the Fall 2019 crop to be the 9th largest in history — signaling a need for export markets based on a report by the U.S. Apple Association.