Aug 6, 2019
China trade standstill ‘more bad news for farmers’

China said Aug. 5 it would no longer buy U.S. farm commodities, continuing  a more than year-long trade battle with President Donald Trump’s recent decision to raise tariff rates on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1. The move sparked retaliation by China in the form of a currency devaluation and now a pledge by China to stop buying U.S agricultural commodities.

The move led to the following statement by American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall: “China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.

“In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades.

“Farm Bureau economists tell us exports to China were down by $1.3 billion during the first half of the year. Now, we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

“We are grateful for Market Facilitation Program payments many farmers and ranchers have received, allowing them to continue farming during this difficult time. Even so, we know that aid cannot last forever. We urge negotiators to redouble their efforts to arrive at an agreement, and quickly. Exports ensure farmers will continue to supply safe, healthful and affordable food for families here and around the world.”

Background facts:

  • From 2017 to 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to China fell more than 50 percent, dropping to $9.1 billion.
  • In 2014, U.S. agricultural exports to China exceeded $24 billion.
  • From 2000 to 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to China increased by 700%.



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