Here's a sampling of comments from agricultural trade groups regarding China's proposed plan to impose $50 billion on U.S. imports.
National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
“There are no winners in a trade war, only casualties. As trade tensions continue to mount with China, the expanded list of tariffs on food and agriculture exports are making America’s farmers the first casualties.”
“Our corn farmers have worked for decades to support fair and open trade practices because we understand that trade is a two-way street. In today’s global economy, we know that we need to be competitive to grow and maintain our market share. Our farmers have done that, which is why agriculture has a positive trade balance. In 2018, the U.S. is forecast to export $139.5 billion in agricultural goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S. Instead of new protectionist policies, our nation’s focus should be on growing market access and promoting expanded trade from our most competitive industries.
-Wesley Spurlock, Chairman of NCGA and Texas farmer
American Soybean Association (ASA)
“We have been warning the administration and members of Congress that this would happen since the prospect for tariffs was raised. That unfortunately doesn’t lend any comfort to the hundreds of thousands of soybean farmers who will be affected by these tariffs. This is no longer a hypothetical, and a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans into China will have a devastating effect on every soybean farmer in America.”
“But there is still time to reverse this damage, and the administration can still deliver for farmers by withdrawing the tariffs that caused this retaliation. China has said that its 25 percent tariff will only go into effect based on the course of action the administration takes. We call on President Trump to engage the Chinese in a constructive manner—not a punitive one—and achieve a positive result for soybean farmers.”
-ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)
“Farmers across the country have invested a lot of money and time over the years to develop a Chinese market that has great potential to buy even more American wheat. Now that effort is in jeopardy at a time when big global supplies have already pushed farm gate wheat prices down to unsustainable levels.”
-USW Chairman, Mike Miller, USW Chairman and wheat farmer from Ritzville, Washington.
“Continued drought, low prices and trade uncertainty adds pressure to passing a Farm Bill on time as well as creating uncertainty for producers and lenders. In a trade war, agriculture is always the first target. The Administration can support rural Americans by working with Chinese officials to avoid these damaging tariffs.”
-NAWG President Jimmie Musick a wheat farmer from Sentinel, Oklahoma
National Sorghum Producers
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time sorghum farmers have faced depressed prices and market uncertainty. We saw a similar reaction after the announcement of anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of U.S. sorghum into China on February 4, following the Administration’s tariff action on imports of Chinese solar panels and washing machines.”
“Trade wars are not good for anyone, and we urge President Trump and other negotiators to take a constructive approach in the ongoing negotiations that do not threaten more harm to U.S. sorghum producers. Our hope is that this situation will be resolved sooner rather than later. Sorghum is good for U.S. farmers and traders, and good for China.”
-NSP Chairman and Nebraska farmer Don Bloss
American Farm Bureau Federation
“Farmers and ranchers are, by necessity, patient and optimistic. We know markets ebb and flow. But China’s threatened retaliation against last night’s U.S. tariff proposal is testing both the patience and optimism of families who are facing the worst agricultural economy in 16 years. This has to stop.
“Growing trade disputes have placed farmers and ranchers in a precarious position. We have bills to pay and debts we must settle, and cannot afford to lose any market, much less one as important as China’s. We urge the United States and China to return to negotiations and produce an agreement that serves the interests of the world’s two largest economies.”
-American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall
U.S. Meat Export Federation
“China is a promising market for U.S. beef, and, since the June 2017 reopening, the U.S. industry has made an exceptional effort to provide customers with high-quality beef at an affordable price. This is not an easy task, due to our 13-year absence from the market and China’s beef import requirements.”
“Over the past nine months, interest in U.S. beef has steadily gained momentum in China and our customer base has grown. But if an additional import tariff is imposed on U.S. beef, these constructive business relationships, and opportunities for further growth, will be put at risk. USMEF is hopeful that this trade dispute can be resolved without China introducing additional obstacles for U.S. beef.”
-USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
“It is unsettling to see American-produced beef listed as a target for retaliation. Sadly, we are not surprised, as this is an inevitable outcome of any trade war. This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China. The Trump Administration has until the end of May to resolve this issue. We believe in trade enforcement, but endless retaliation is not a good path forward for either side.”
- Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the NCBA
National Pork Producers Council
“Exports are extremely critical to the financial well-being of our producers. Over the past 10 years, the United States, on average, has been the top exporter of pork in the world, and we’re the lowest-cost producer. The U.S. exports pork to more than 100 nations, and those exports support 110,000 American jobs. Last year, nearly $6.5 billion of U.S. pork was exported, which was more than 26 percent of U.S. pork production.”
- Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council