CBS Discovers China's Trade Manipulation, Damage to U.S. Business

June 18th, 2019 3:15 PM

On Saturday night, CBS Evening News ran one of the only segments on network news that spoke of the benefits President Trump taking on China with an aggressive trade policy. Janet Shamlian, a reporter for CBS News Los Angeles, visited Christopher Farms in Gilroy, California.

According to the report, Ken Christopher, the operator of Christopher Farms, has actually benefited from the implementation of Trump’s tariffs. The business owner pointed out: “Chinese exporters have defrauded the U.S. Government and flooded the market with over $600 million of dumped Chinese garlic.” China’s manipulation of the garlic market has put nine American companies out of business.



Shamlian fairly assessed that because most of the garlic produced in the U.S. is sold domestically, the tax on Chinese goods has driven consumers to purchase more of the American produce. While consumers may have to pay slightly more right now, the gap will soon shrink.

It’s not a wild assertion to state that there has been almost no talk of the instances in which tariffs have benefited the nation. CNN has gone as far to say that Trump was a “bully” for threatening tariffs on Mexico if they didn’t heighten border security.

It’s refreshing to see a major broadcast network reporting fairly on the President. CBS correctly maintained that tariffs are a tax and are negative for the average American producer, but there are some circumstances in which they provide immediate benefit to the American economy.

This fair and accurate reporting on China’s trade war begs the question: when will the other networks catch up?

Here is the complete transcript from the story:

CBS Evening News


6:51 PM EST

REENA NINAN: Walmart and Target are among 600 companies that sent President Trump a letter this week asking him to end the trade war with China. They worry higher prices on Chinese goods will hurt their profit. But as Janet Shamlian shows us, others say tariffs are actually good for business.

JANET SHAMLIAN (CBS NEWS LOS ANGELES): It's a northern California community best known for its biggest product. Gilroy is almost synonymous with garlic. They've been planting and peeling it here for decades.

KEN CHRISTOPHER (CHRISTOPHER FARMS): You're going to take the bulb, flip it around. If the root plate is still intact on the bottom, you have California garlic on your hands.

SHAMLIAN: It's a point of pride for Ken Christopher. Christopher Farms is the nation's largest garlic grower and just one of three U.S. producers. A glut of cheaper Chinese imports in recent years has put nine others out of business.

CHRISTOPHER: Since 1993, Chinese exporters have defrauded the U.S. Government and flooded the market with over $600 million of dumped Chinese garlic.

SHAMLIAN: Garlic growers are among the few in agriculture benefiting from the President's economic attack on China, imposing on June 15 a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of goods coming into the U.S. Shoppers will find U.S. garlics more expensive, even with the tariff, but the price difference will soon be smaller.

CHRISTOPHER: I predict with a 25% increase in tariffs, we're going to see a 25% increase in demand for California garlic, and that means we're going to invest in infrastructure. We're going to invest in additional acreage. We're going to invest in more jobs.

SHAMLIAN: While garlic growers benefit because they sell almost everything domestically. Many farmers rely heavily on exports to China.


FARMER: It's getting really tough. It's a shame they put them retaliatory tariffs on us.


SHAMLIAN: Soybean producers have seen sales plunge 25%. Corn-based products, pork, and poultry sales have also taken a hit.

CHRISTOPHER: In a broader, macroeconomic sense, a trade war is not in the best interest of the U.S. For garlic, it's exactly what we needed at this moment.

SHAMLIAN: Reporter: In a trade war taking its toll, one bright spot in a battle for the bulb. Janet Shamlian, CBS news, Los Angeles.