Access to crop protection products by Canadian fruit and vegetable growers is unlikely to be affected by the upcoming U.S. – China trade talks, scheduled for the week of Jan. 7, 2019.
That’s the view of Matt Peters, business development manager of N. M. Bartlett Inc., a major crop protection distributor based in the Niagara Region. “Basic manufacturers might see slight cost increases in Chinese-produced active ingredients due to tariffs against the U.S., or due to manufacturing requirements imposed by China for pollution control reasons, but overall we don’t foresee significant access or price increase concerns for Canadian fruit and vegetable growers. It’ll likely be pretty much business as usual,“ he added.
The exception, he said, might be for herbicides containing the active ingredient metribuzin which will likely see significant increases for 2019.
The January trade talks are the first time the U.S. and China have held face-to-face meetings since they agreed to a 90-day truce on tariffs during a G20 meeting in Argentina. CNBC had reported on Nov. 29, 2018 that some U.S. crop protection businesses were stockpiling Chinese-sourced crop chemicals out of concern that tariffs on them would rise Jan. 1, 2019.
However, the truce has bought time for both sides to move prudently. China has begun buying U.S. soybeans again, and President Trump has agreed to hold the line on increased tariffs for some USD$ 200 billion annual imports from China.