Perdue On China Tariffs: ‘Farmers Are Patriots’

April 4, 2018 12:53 PM

This week the United States and China inched closer to what some are calling “the next cold war.” This one is a war on trade. Following an announcement of a proposed $50 billion menu of tariffs against China, Chinese officials announced a proposal for their own matching menu of tariffs. Unsurprisingly to the agriculture community, several farm products are on the list including soybeans, pork, corn, wheat, cotton and beef.

[Download a full list of the Chinese tariffs here.]

When questioned about the impact this potential trade war could have on farmers, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said agriculture is ready for the fight.

 “The good thing is that farmers are patriots,” he said Tuesday at Michigan State University.  “They understand that if people aren’t playing by the rules, action has to be taken, but they don’t want to be the only sacrificial lambs in this trade war.”

According to Perdue, the administration is still working to negotiate with China to relieve the U.S. of current “unfair” trading practices.

“The president does want free trade but he wants fair trade most of all,” he said adding that China doesn’t always play by the rules. “[Farmers] are always at the tip of the spear over any kind of retaliatory action.”

Perdue says he’s had a personal conversation with President Trump and the president is committed to not letting agriculture bear the brunt of “any kind of retaliatory measures.”

According to Pro Farmer’s Jim Wiesemeyer, the Trump administration is working on ideas for compensating farmers who may be harmed by China’s retaliatory tariffs on U.S. commodities. Perdue said the plan will send a signal to China.

“We’re discussing that right now, but I’m not at liberty to talk about those kinds of things from a mitigation perspective,” he said. “And at the proper time we will let China know they will not be able to affect our agricultural policies and our political decisions over trade by … holding agriculture hostage.”


Back to news



Spell Check

Scobey, MT
4/5/2018 11:51 AM

  For decades US ag has been encouraged to get our income from the marketplace. In 14 long months Trump's big mouth has alienated us from our foreign customers. Now Perdue suggests that US ag return to ag welfare. Thank you so much Mr. Trump ("the ultimate free trader")!

Bruceville, IN
4/6/2018 04:23 PM

  So, Trump is going to make up for the loss of $2/bushel on soybeans from the tariffs on Chinese or Russian steel and aluminum? How is he going to compensate the steel and aluminum fabricators in the US whose businesses go belly-up because they cannot compete due to higher prices on steel and aluminum?

164 wheaqt
circle, MT
4/5/2018 08:54 AM

  Trump Tariff Payment! TTP whoopee! I'm sure congres will be all over themselves to write us that check!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer