Thursday, May 31, 2018

Agriculture caught in U.S.-China trade dispute


Additional tariffs on Chinese goods to the U.S., announced by the Trump administration on Tuesday, is the latest development in the on-again, off-again trade dual going on between the two countries. With about $20 billion in agricultural exports to China last year, U.S. farmers and ranchers are closely following the bout. “There’s plenty going on,” Dave Salmonsen, senior director of congressional relations for American Farm Bureau Federation, told Capital Press. “It’s a little unsettling.” The additional tariffs will have an impact on agriculture, but the extent of the fallout will depend on how things play out in trade talks between the two countries this week in Beijing, he said. The administration said the 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods imported from China are in response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of U.S. technology and intellectual property...AFBF hasn’t analyzed the potential impact to agriculture. It’ll depend on whether the U.S. tariffs go into effect and whether China retaliates. Retaliatory tariffs would make U.S. products noncompetitive, effecting trade and prices to farmers, he said. China’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum are already having an impact on U.S. producers, he said. Those tariffs, applied at the start of April, include additional duties of 25 percent on pork and 15 percent on fruit, tree nuts, wine and ginseng. National Pork producers Council is calling for a swift resolution of the trade dispute with China — the world’s largest pork-consuming nation — saying it has cost pork producers $2.2 billion on an annualized basis. “Since March 1, when speculation about Chinese retaliation against U.S. pork began, hog futures have dropped $18 per animal, translating to a $2.2 billion loss on an annualized basis,” Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University economist, said in a press release from NPPC on Tuesday. While not all of the loss can be attributed to friction with China, it is certainly the main factor, he said...MORE

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