Reaction continuing to come in to the green light being given to begin a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports.
From Iowa Soybean Association President Bill Shipley of Nodaway:
“The use of food as a weapon in trade disputes is of grave concern to Iowa and U.S. farmers. It threatens the security and stability of the people and economies of China and the United States, including millions of U.S. farm families.
“There are no winners in a trade war and one that includes soybeans will not start or end well. U.S. soybean prices have already plummeted by about $1 per bushel since the beginning of June. Prices will likely drop further should the tariffs be imposed. This will further pressure agricultural families and businesses already struggling with below break-even commodity prices. Duties on imported soybeans will also negatively impact China’s soy processors, animal and aquaculture producers and its people.
“An ongoing trade dispute with China risks stoking anti-Americanism sentiment that could jeopardize the strength of trade relations between the two countries that have taken U.S. soybean farmers nearly 35 years to develop.
“Iowa soybean farmers recognize the legitimate trade issues involving China and the U.S. We’re also keenly aware of the trade imbalance that exists between the two countries. China consumes nearly 62 percent of all soybeans traded globally. Approximately 33 percent of total U.S. soybean production is destined for China, fulfilling almost 40 percent of China’s total soybean imports. Ironically, U.S. soybean and agriculture can help improve the trade imbalance by increasing sales to China. This is a much better course of action than suspending sales.
“Farmers are resilient, resourceful and used to dealing with situations out of their control. The best way to counteract negative financial impacts of tariffs is to go on offense. The Iowa Soybean Association will continue to work with partners to build demand both here and abroad, find more efficient ways to export our product and ensure policies and regulations are fair and workable for farmers.”
Democratic candidate for Secretary of Agriculture Tim Gannon:
“This spring Iowa farmers had two things on their mind—warmer temperatures so they could get in the field and cooler rhetoric on trade out of Washington so they could get a good price for their crop this year. For the most part we got the weather to get the crop in the ground, but this Administration has consistently ignored farmers and now we’re faced with a trade war that will negatively affect our bottom line.
With farm income already forecast lower for the fifth time in the last six years the market uncertainty Chinese tariffs on our beans, pork, corn, beef, and other agricultural products will mean real pain for Iowa farmers and will ripple through the economy. The pain will be shared by the implement dealers, factory workers, seed sales businesses, and others on Main Street who depend on a strong ag economy."