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Many farm-belt lawmakers worry that the trade disputes could make American farmers the target of retaliation from other countries.

The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association have expressed their opposition to President Donald Trump's plans to increase trade tariffs on China, warning that "a trade war with China will deeply impact U.S. farmers, U.S. workers and U.S. consumers."

As the Nebraska farm organizations reacted to earlier tariffs announced by the president, Trump threatened to levy additional new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products shipped to the United States, ratcheting up the rhetoric that could open a trade war.

The Chinese have signaled that they are prepared to respond with tariffs of "equal scale, equal intensity," and that is likely to impact U.S. agricultural imports, spokesmen for Nebraska corn farmers warned. 

"Nebraska corn farmers are already struggling to break even due to low corn prices, but these tariffs aren't hurting just farmers," said David Merrell of St. Edward, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

"More than one million American jobs are supported by U.S. ag exports alone," he said.  

Agriculture is "a U.S. trade champion," said Dan Wesley of Morse Bluff, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

"The president's tariffs have the potential to hurt our country's farmers," he said. 

"Rural America was a strong supporter of President Trump during his campaign due to his commitment to farmers," Wesley noted.

"We want to work with President Trump to help him understand the damage the tariffs are causing to rural America and hopefully he will reconsider," he said. 

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.

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Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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