Many in agriculture are concerned after it was announced this week that China was stepping away from purchasing U.S. farm imports after President Trump increased tensions by his proposal to add 10% tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese imports starting September 1. And while some say this stoppage may not be total, it’s still not good news for many farmers and ranchers struggling at this time. American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Dave Salmonsen says there is some confusion or uncertainty about that.
“We had heard that this cutoff of Chinese purchases of U.S. ag was by state-run companies…and then, you’re seeing some indication that it’s just applying broadly to companies.”
State-run firms were doing most of the buying of major U.S. farm goods, since they weren’t being hit with tariffs. But some wonder if ‘zero’ is the next step, now that China has asked state-owned firms to stop buying U.S. farm goods.
“This seems to have gone into effect almost immediately. In the past, in reaction to what the U.S. had done, China’s said they would do things when the U.S. actions went into effect.”
Salmonsen says the future’s now unpredictable.
“We’ll have to keep a close eye in seeing how this develops, and whether these are pressure points that are being developed, ways for either side to get leverage in negotiations, or if this settles into a longer contest.”
Salmonsen said Farm Bureau is making its concerns clear to the administration about the damage from the trade fight continuing.
Audio provided by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters