Phase Two

China Suspends Purchases of American Agricultural Products

Brian German Agri-Business, Trade

China will no longer be accepting any more agricultural products from the United States after the Chinese government asked state-owned companies to halt any further purchases of American agricultural imports.  The move appears to be in retaliation to President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of levying an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports beginning September 1. 

agricultural products“China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release.  “In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades.”

Figures from AFBF show that between 2017 and 2018 American agricultural exports to China decreased by more than half, down to $9.1 billion.  In contrast, agricultural exports to China were valued at more than $24 billion in 2014, having increased by 700 percent between 2000 and 2017.  “Farm Bureau economists tell us exports to China were down by $1.3 billion during the first half of the year. Now, we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017,” said Duvall.

China has been supplementing its need for agricultural products with imports from several other countries, heightening concerns about the long-term viability of the Chinese market once the tariff situation is resolved.  With both crop and livestock markets taking substantial hits once the news broke, there is a new sense or urgency for some kind of trade deal to be established soon.  “We urge negotiators to redouble their efforts to arrive at an agreement, and quickly. Exports ensure farmers will continue to supply safe, healthful and affordable food for families here and around the world,” Duvall noted.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West