U.S. sorghum producers are the latest farmers to find themselves in the middle of the trade spat between the U.S. and China. On Tuesday, the Chinese government announced they will require anti-dumping deposits on U.S. sorghum imports, resulting in a duty of nearly 179%.
According to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, this is a political move by Chinese officials.
“The international grain market is about the freest market there is, and it is ludicrous to even mention ‘dumping,’ because China can buy product from anywhere they choose,” he said. “This is clearly a political decision by the Chinese and we reject their premise.”
According to the National Sorghum Producers association (NSP), their members have fully cooperated with China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including submitting several thousand pages of data demonstrating U.S. sorghum is not dumped and is not causing any “injury” to China.
“None of this information appears to have been seriously considered or used in today’s preliminary determination, which is neither fair nor appropriate,” they said in a statement.
Perdue said U.S. sorghum producers are the most competitive in the world.
“We do not believe there is any basis in fact for these actions,” he said. “The fact remains that China has engaged in unfair trade practices over decades and President Trump is correct in holding them accountable. We remain committed to protecting American agricultural producers in the face of retaliatory measures by the Chinese.”
While NSP realizes this is just another move in the game of trade chess President Trump and President Xi are currently engaged in, they are committed to their Chinese customers and will continue to demonstrate how U.S. sorghum producers are not injuring China and are evaluating all legal options moving forward.