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Tariffs Imposed by China May Affect Southern California Jobs

Job losses and higher prices could be the possible consequences of U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel and the tariffs imposed by China on U.S. products — including many made in Southern California.

These tariffs, know as retaliatory tariffs, may affect jobs in local industries such as wine and agriculture.

Nearly 65 percent of jobs in the wine industry are in California and targeted by Chinese retaliatory tariffs, according to the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy group based in Washington D.C.

Data was divided county-by-county, and in Riverside County alone, there are nearly 3,000 workers in wine.

Our partners at NBC Bay Area spoke to Wente Wines back in April when these tariffs were first announced. As of Monday, not a single bottle of their wine has been shipped to mainland China since the tariff.

China is the fifth-largest market for U.S. wine, according to the Wine Institute, which represents 1,000 wineries and businesses in California.

“There are many wine-producing countries around the world that are clamoring for that shelf space that want to take that position away from California,” said Michael Parr, VP of international sales at Wente Wine.

Aside from wine, there are more than 14,000 jobs in agriculture in Ventura County; and in Los Angeles County, nearly 13,000 in food manufacturing.

If there are any increases in costs to the products affected by the US tariffs, that will likely be passed onto consumers — which in turn could decrease sales, which could cause jobs losses, according to the Brookings Institute.

Photo Credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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