Tariff data on Indiana released ahead of Trump speech
Just as President Donald Trump is scheduled to travel to Indianapolis on Saturday to speak to the national Future Farmers of America convention to talk about agriculture, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the campaign against tariffs, has released data showing that Indiana exports of pork to Mexico and soybeans to China have stalled since the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm products went into effect.
The data, which was compiled by The Trade Partnership from U.S. Census Bureau and USDA data.
The data show that Indiana pork exports to Mexico had been nearly double in the first four months of 2018 ($18 million in January-April 2018 vs $9.3 million in January-April 2017). However, growth slowed to +24 percent year-over-year in May, when new retaliatory tariff became a possibility, then fell to -3 percent, +3 percent, and -3 percent in June/July/August when tariffs actually went into place.
The data released also shows a 34 percent year-to-date drop in soybean exports to China compared with last year. For the most recent monthly data in August 2018, soybeans saw a 95 percent drop as compared to August 2017.
Indiana soybean farmer and Farmers for Free Trade spokesman Brent Bible, who farms 5,000 acres of primarily soybeans and corn in Lafayette, said in a news release, “I’m supportive of the Trump administration, but I have a lot of concerns about current actions that have been taken on trade and tariffs. The fact that China is our No. 1 soybean customer makes Indiana very vulnerable. Our farm and many others like ours have already been the first casualties of a trade war.”
“This data is the clearest sign yet of the hit Indiana farmers have taken and is a warning about the even greater threat on the horizon,” said Brian Kuehl, a spokesman for Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “There is no guarantee that what’s lost today because of this trade war is coming back anytime soon. What is Indiana’s loss is Brazil and Canada and Russia’s gain.”
Tariffs Hurt the Heartland released InIngraphics comparing pre- and post-tariff exports of soybeans to China and pork to Mexico: