MANKATO, MN - Business leaders in the area gathered to talk tariffs.  
 
Jason Flohrs, from Americans For Prosperity, said: "Certainly there are things with trade practices in China that we need to address.  We're dealing with intellectual property, we're dealing with the subsidies they provide in their own markets, but using a blunt tool like tariffs to try to address those, is the wrong way to go."
 
Greater Mankato Growth and Green Seam sponsored a lunch time forum, discussing the impact of tariffs on Minnesota's economy.  Experts from the Heritage Foundation, and the Center of the American Experiment, were on hand to explain how free trade benefits everybody.
 
Tori Whiting from Washington D.C.'s Heritage Foundation, said: "Our trade policy is about increasing the freedom to trade for Americans.  Increasing their ability to buy and sell as they wish, free of government intervention."

Even though free trade was the main topic of discussion, one economist thinks that the real problem is over taxation in Minnesota.
 
John Phelan, an economist from the Center of the American Experiment, said: "Trade is often a scapegoat here.  So, for example, in the U.S. recently we had one of the highest rates of corporate taxation in the world.  In the state of Minnesota, we impose one of the highest corporate tax rates in the U.S. on top of that, making this state one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the developed world to do business."

Still, farmers and local businesses are worried that the back and forth over trade will end up hurting their bottom line.