Patience wearing thin in U.S.-China trade war

Leaders of American commodity groups such as wheat, soy and corn are lobbying hard that agriculture needs certainty, not more tariffs. Yet, more tariffs were announced.


United States ratcheted up tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on $200B worth of Chinese goods on May 10. China responded on May 13 by announcing five to 25 per cent tariffs on a range of goods effective June 1. According to Reuters newswire service, that list includes frozen vegetables.


"We have heard and believed the President when he says he supports farmers, but we'd like the President to hear us and believe what we are saying about the real-life consequences to our farms and families as this trade war drags on," said Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, Kentucky, and American Soybean Association president in a report from Agri-Marketing Magazine’s newsletter. 


"Adding to current problems, it took us more than 40 years to develop the China soy market. For most of us in farming, that is two-thirds of our lives. If we don't get this trade deal sorted out and the tariffs rescinded soon, those of us who worked to build this market likely won't see it recover in our lifetime." 


American vice-president Mike Pence told Minnesota farmers on May 9 that the White House is considering additional farm aid to compensate for income lost for the trade war with China. This would be a second round after last year’s $18 billion US farm aid. 



Source: Agri-Marketing May 13, 2019 newsletter

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