Farmers in the Midwest are losing a lot of sleep these days.
A recent flare-up in the US-China trade war has them panicking that much of their crops may rot for a second year in a row. Some are even worried they may lose their farms if the international spat continues much longer.
We don’t want to be collateral damage,If they don’t reach a conclusion soon, it’s going to be really somber times.
Kevin Paap, a corn and soybean farmer in southern Minnesota, told me.
After launching a two-year trade war with China, the Trump administration seemed close to reaching a deal with Beijing to reopen commerce between the world’s two largest economies. But earlier this month, those talks collapsed, and everything has gone downhill since then.
Last week, the president raised an existing 10 percent tax on many Chinese imports to 25 percent. China retaliated by adding higher tariffs on many American imports. Now Trump has been talking about taxing an even wider range of Chinese products.
Trump insists that his trade war will benefit farmers, but it’s actually crushing them. It seems unlikely that China will scrap the 25 percent tariff on American soybeans anytime soon, and now it’s adding higher taxes on American apples, oranges, pork, and almonds, too.
That’s why farmers are freaking out. Some are facing financial ruin now that millions of Chinese consumers, who once bought about 60 percent of American agriculture exports, have stopped buying their products. Exports to China from Minnesota dropped about 25 percent after the first round of tariffs went into effect last year, said Paap, who is president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau.Read More
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