American producers are suffering from dizziness, thanks to the back-and-forth headlines regarding the U.S.-China trade dispute. Tuesday, the Trump Administration announced it was moving ahead with plans for protecting intellectual U.S. property.
Politico says the administration will take steps to impose 25-percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, plus, establish broad investment restrictions and pursue litigation with the World Trade Organization. But what’s real and what isn’t?
Michelle Erickson-Jones, president of the Montana Grain Growers Association, says, “It’s so hard to tell what’s rhetoric and what’s real, though it would surprise me if we went forward with these tariffs.” The level of uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China conflict, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, is hard on commodity markets. It also jeopardizes relationships with overseas commodity buyers. Jones says countries are already looking for other buyers. As an example, she points out that Mexico recently purchased wheat from Argentina for the first time in modern history. In spite of the president’s recent tendency to back down on threats against China, they still have to be taken seriously because the country is such an important market for American farmers.
Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau President, says “It’s an emotional issue for soybean growers. China is our safety net.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.