The Trump administration's tariffs, a 25 percent duty on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, are set to take effect 12:01 a.m. EST on Friday. Beijing has said it would retaliate immediately with tariffs of its own.
That leaves U.S. farmers in the crossfire.
"Rural communities are dependent on agriculture. It’s their life blood," Casey Guernsey, a seventh-generation beef farmer in the Missouri-Kansas-Iowa area, told CNBC.
China's new tariffs will impact a number of American agricultural products, including soybeans, wheat, corn, cotton and pork, as well as U.S. autos.
Beijing's import levies could end up costing farmers in the state of Missouri as much as $138 million annually, said Guernsey, owner of CL Guernsey, a family farm. That includes the impact of lower prices for farm commodities and potential lost business due to new import duties.
One in four pigs raised in the U.S. is sold overseas, and the Chinese are the world's top consumers of pork. Missouri is one of the top 10 states in pork production.
"We can't afford any increase in price," Guernsey said on "Closing Bell" Thursday. "The difference between making money and losing money per head sometimes is just a couple of dollars. And whenever you’re looking at duties like this, it could make or break the operation."
In fact, the tariffs might only make the situation worse for some farmers. The agricultural economy has been in a down slump for more than a decade. Profits from U.S. farms are forecast to reach a 12-year-low in 2018, according to the Department of Agriculture.