China

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Louisville health officials continue to monitor the temperatures of international travelers for signs of the novel coronavirus as federal health officials warn that community outbreaks could lead to the closures of businesses, schools and public gatherings.

In Louisville, about 50 people have signed agreements with the state to self-monitor for the virus after travel in mainland China as of Wednesday, but those numbers could increase, said Rui Zhao, communicable disease epidemiologist for the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

Ryan Van Velzer

Louisville’s UPS air hub continues to operate flights to and from China while taking precautions to protect pilots and limit potential exposure to the novel coronavirus.

To date, no UPS employees have contracted the respiratory illness and the World Health Organization says that packages from China are safe, said Mike Mangeot, UPS Spokesman.

“Certainly UPS is approaching the coronavirus with an abundance of caution and concern for the well-being of our employees,” Mangeot said.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About 50 people in Jefferson County are in isolation and are self-monitoring for symptoms of the novel coronavirus after returning from trips to mainland China, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

There are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Kentucky and no cases of anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case of the virus, said Rui Zhao, Louisville Metro communicable disease epidemiologist.

“Since we have had no evidence of anyone who has come from the province, the risk is extremely small for all individuals living in Kentucky right now,” Zhao said.

Rhonda J. Miller

A manufacturer of recycled plastic products in Evansville, Indiana is experiencing a surge in business due, in part, to China halting the import of plastic trash last year. Green Tree Plastics is now expanding partnerships with major corporations.

The family-owned company is also meeting the growing demand from student groups to produce benches and picnic tables from what most Americans have been sending to landfills -  plastic bottle caps.

The playground at Holy Name Catholic School in Henderson, Kentucky has a couple of special benches. They’re made from recycled plastic caps and lids, from water bottles, milk jugs, yogurt cups, toothpaste, coffee cans, peanut butter, and lots of other containers.


Liam Niemeyer

Tom Folz drives around on a sunny, August afternoon and surveys the thousands of acres of dark green, leafy soybean plants and tall stalks of corn he grows on his sprawling farm in Christian County, Kentucky.

At 54, Folz has wispy, white hair matching his white mustache. It’s taken him several long work weeks to get his crop to where it is today.

“You got to be a little bit ‘off’ to be a farmer,” Folz said. ”You don’t get to enjoy anything during harvest and planting season because we’re working.”


Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Stocks plunged Wednesday on deepening worries over a slowdown in the global economy.

The Dow closed down 800 points, or about 3%. Investors have been whipsawed in recent days by mixed signals emerging from the Trump administration about tariffs and the escalating trade war with China.

The jitters were exacerbated amid worrisome economic data from two big countries. Germany posted negative growth in the latest quarter, and China's growth in industrial output fell to a 17-year low.

Nicole Erwin I Ohio Valley ReSource

Ohio Valley farmers say the latest tariff escalation between the Trump administration and China could continue to hurt their businesses, with many farmers already facing financial struggles.  

As Chinese officials visit Washington, D.C., for more trade talks, the Trump administration announced this week increased tariffs, planned to go into effect Friday, on $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods, accusing the country of reneging on trade promises.


J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky's Governor is meeting Monday night with the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.

Matt Bevin and Cui Tiankai will discuss economic development at the meeting in the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort.

The meeting comes at a time of increasingly strained relationships between Washington and Beijing.

President Donald Trump has pursued an aggressive trade policy against China, slapping billions of dollars in tariffs on imported Chinese products, such as solar panels, washing machines, flat-panel televisions, and medical devices.

Still from White House video

President Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration's escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe.

The Trump administration announced in June $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, which are set to go into effect on Friday. In return, China has committed to its own $50 billion in tariffs on U.S. exports, which may include U.S. energy exports.


Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET

As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own.

Nicole Erwin

China buys more than half of the soybeans grown in the Ohio Valley. So China’s threat this week to place a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soy means farmers would be caught in the crosshairs of a trade war.

Even though tariffs haven’t taken effect, markets are already showing signs that commodities traders are growing nervous. The tariff anxiety comes as U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visits the region this week. 


J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul thinks China is the key to keeping the erratic North Korean regime in check.

The Bowling Green Republican said Beijing can put even more political and economic pressure on North Korea, after that country recently suffered an embarrassing failed missile launch.

“I do agree with the Trump administration that talking to China, and trying to get China involved, is an important part” of getting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “to behave,” Paul said.

Speaking to reporters at his Bowling Green office Monday, Paul said China has tremendous leverage with Pyongyang given North Korea’s economic woes.