China Boldly Takes Out Four Page Newspaper Ad in Iowa to Sway Farmers on Trade War

In a bold effort to undermine Donald Trump’s trade war with China, The China Daily ran a four-page advertising supplement in Iowa’s Des Moine Register on Sunday aimed at the state’s soybean farmers calling American tariffs on China “the fruit of a president’s folly.’’

The special ad section which was “paid for and prepared solely by China Daily, an official publication of the People’s Republic of China,” featured articles including one explaining how the U.S.-China trade dispute is forcing Chinese importers to purchase soybeans from South America instead of the U.S.

A Tweet by Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman for President Barack Obama, called the move a “Pretty savvy political play being run by China,’’

 
 

 
 

China Targets the Sweet Spot

The choice of newspapers was no mistake by the Chinese government as Iowa is a critical state for Trump and his Republican allies as they try to maintain constituent support while the world’s two largest economies rachet up the trade war with each other.

The American government added an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports on Monday, on top of the $50 billion in goods already being hit with tariffs. China, in response to U.S. tariffs, has targetted $110 billion of goods from the U.S.

Image: Screenshot Twitter @JenniferJJacobs

“Iowans are nervous,” Joe Murphy, with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce told the Des Moine Register.

“We’re obviously an agricultural state. We have a significant presence in advanced manufacturing, and our state economy really depends on our ability to have access to those foreign markets.”

Along with the article about soybean imports, the advertising supplement also features an article that looks to resonate with the long business ties between China and the American heartland by highlighting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “fun days in Iowa’’ during trips to the state in 1985 and 2012.

The choice of newspapers was no mistake by the Chinese government as Iowa is a critical state for Trump and his Republican allies as they try to maintain constituent support.

This looks to be the first time that China has targetted a specific demographic with an ad campaign. The country took out similar ad-centric pages focused on trade in a July issue of Roll Call, a publication that covers Congress and the U.S. political scene.

Iowa is a state that’s particularly felt the effects of the trade war according to a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign against tariffs that highlighting the impact by state.

According to the chamber, exports threatened by tariffs exceed $1 billion in Iowa, including $30.8 million in soybeans. The chamber added that the state has 456,300 jobs supported by trade.

A recent study by Iowa State University found that Iowa farmers are projected to lose up to $2.2 billion from U.S. trade wars, with the effects rippling through the economy, hitting state tax receipts, jobs, and industries such as manufacturing reports the Des Moine Register.

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