MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota trade officials say local companies will be hit by more than $600 million in tariffs as a result of an escalating trade war.

On Sunday, Canada will impose new tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars in local goods after President Trump slapped Canada with tariffs. Now, as WCCO’s Pat Kessler reports, other countries are following.

The tariffs will hit Minnesota businesses where it hurts: The boat industry. Pork producers. Iron ore and steel, and soybeans.

“It’s not good for business,” Gabrielle Gerbaud with the Minnesota Trade Office said.

Minnesota trade officials estimating new tariffs on Minnesota products from China, Europe, Mexico and Canada will total $641 million this year.

“We are a great place to do business. And uncertainty makes things stop or move slower, and when you slow down a business, it’s not good,” Gerbaud said.

The escalating trade war began with President Donald Trump slapping tariffs on U.S. trading partners, including Canada. Telling a Fargo, North Dakota crowd America is treated unfairly by other countries.

“We are going to make trade fair and reciprocal. Reciprocal, you know what that is! They do it to us, we do it to them!” Trump said.

But for many Minnesota businesses, the tariffs could result in permanent damage. Minnesota pork producers will see a 25 percent surtax from Mexico, adding $52 million to pork products, which they say has consequences for rural communities.

“If we don’t have dollars coming into those rural communities, it does have consequences for those small towns,” David Preisler with the Minnesota Pork Board said.

Trade experts say the longer the tariffs remain, the more damage they will do.

But the best advice to business? Keep selling.

“Continue business.  Continue what you are doing,” Gerbaud said.

Tariffs all started in June from the European Union. Canada starts on July 1, and China July 6. A painful summer for Minnesota businesses.

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