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Utah hoping to avoid President’s possible “trade war” with China

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah wants President Trump to back away from a possible tariff war, or even tiff, with one of its biggest trade partners: China.

Boeing, with 1,000 workers in Utah, imports Chinese steel for its factories in West Jordan and Salt Lake International Airport.

“Anything that impacts Boeing negatively is probably going to impact Utah negatively,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“It’s not a good situation, especially for the growth that we hope will continue here.”

Hale tells KSL Newsradio’s Doug Wright that Utah sends tons of beef, pork and alfalfa to China, and that one in four Utah products has some tie to exports.

“If we get into a trade war, and it ends up negatively impacting our economy, we will probably be hurt more than many states,” he said.

Hale doesn’t want Utah to lose any part of its $6-billion trade surplus.

He quoted Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, when he said, “Capital is a coward, and goes where it’s valued.”

“Where there’s fear, capital will probably stay away for a while,” Hale said. “People aren’t going to be as anxious to go invest either in China, or from China here in the United States.”