Walton Family Foundation: Trade and Tariffs with China Cause Economic Hardship on America’s Heartland Economy
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – As tensions rise between the United States and China over trade and tariffs, the Walton Family Foundation released a new research brief highlighting the negative impact in counties across the American Heartland. Already, the Heartland Economy lags behind Coastal states and new tariffs threaten to expand that gap even more.
“China clearly chose strategically to target these crops for retaliatory tariffs to impart the greatest economic damages to President Trump’s base of supporters,” said Ross DeVol, a Fellow at the Walton Family Foundation. “China’s tariff increases on U.S. crops will be felt in the Heartland to a higher degree than anywhere else.”
According to the research brief by the Foundation researchers DeVol and Jonas Crews, the five most severely affected crops—corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, and wheat—have been subjected to additional 25 percent tariffs by China. In addition, the intensity of production for the rest of the country pales in comparison to that of the Heartland; among the top 20 percent of counties with reported data, 89 percent are in the Heartland. Further, 78 of the 82 counties with per-capita production values over $20,000 are in the Heartland, and two of the non-Heartland counties border a Heartland state.
DeVol’s research is part of a one-year tenure at the foundation, where he will assess opportunities for regional innovation ecosystems that foster job creation, wage gains and economic growth for Middle America residents. Learn more about DeVol here.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2017, the foundation awarded more than $535 million in grants in support of these initiatives.