China to stop US ag purchases, market falls; Farm Bureau, tariff group respond
As China told its import agencies not to buy U.S. farm products, the American Farm Bureau Federation and Tariffs Hurt the Heartland called on negotiators to get back to work.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said the announcement 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,” Duvall said.
“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.”
Farm Bureau noted the following history of U.S. agricultural export to China:
▪ From 2017 to 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to China fell more than 50%, 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%.
Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign comprising more than 150 U.S. trade organizations and agriculture commodity groups, said, “It’s never been more clear that tariffs are a failing strategy.”
“Behind today’s market turmoil are real Americans who have been used as bargaining chips in this trade war,” the group said.
“There are farmers who are defaulting on loans or filing for bankruptcy. There are small business owners who have put their dreams on hold. And there are American workers whose jobs are increasingly at risk in an otherwise strong economy. Both sides need to return to the negotiating table immediately. Nobody wins in a trade war, and right now, everyone is losing.”