AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas could find itself further in the cross hairs as trade tensions build between the U.S. and China.
Monday, China struck back against newly-imposed tariffs on foreign-produced steel and aluminum as the country placed taxes on nearly $3 billion worth of U.S. imports, including important Texas products.
"I think that's enough to call it a war," said Rachel Wellhausen, a professor of international political economy at the University of Texas at Austin.
China is placing 25 percent tariffs on U.S.-produced pork and scrap aluminum, as well as 15 percent tariffs on other products ranging from fruits, nuts, and steel pipes. In all, 128 products are targeted.
Texas is an exporter of both pork and aluminum scrap products. But Wellhausen said it could be worse.
"It's a shot across the bow in the sense that they didn't target soybeans," Wellhausen said.
Soybean tariffs would strike a big blow to Texas and the U.S. About half of American soybean exports are sent to China.
Beef exports could also be targeted if China really wanted to mess with Texas.
"That's a very recently inked trade openness deal," Wellhausen said.
But Wellhausen said the tariffs are mainly political -- targeting portions of the U.S. seen as Trump country, in an effort to persuade the president to reverse his stance on steel and aluminum tariffs. These tariffs stem from Trump administration claims that the U.S. is being treated unfairly in its trade deals.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration is also mulling over even larger tariffs on Chinese tech products. If the back-and-forth continues, experts say Texas might not yet be out of the woods when it comes to China's next tariff target.