(NAFB) — President Trump’s planned new tariff on all remaining Chinese exports to the U.S. is not going over well with American agriculture, despite the patience of many in farming with the tariff war, so far. A new 10 percent tariff on all remaining $300 billion in China’s exports to the U.S. will start September first because China gave no ground in renewed trade talks and failed to buy more US ag goods as promised. All of that spurred President Trump to act. But American Farm Bureau trade advisor Dave Salmonsen says it’s not what farmers had in mind.
“We’d rather see the negotiations than tariffs…tariffs bring on more retaliation. Right now, China’s basically retaliating with higher tariffs against almost all of US exports. But, of course, you can say, what else can they do—well, they can always raise…you could always increase tariffs or you could impose some non-tariff barriers.”
Salmonsen says the president could still delay the new tariffs, again, if there are positive developments, though the next round of talks isn’t planned until after Trump’s September 1st tariff deadline. Meantime, attention is also focused on Japan, now in trade talks with the U.S.
“We’ve been hearing some positive news that we hope very soon…in fact, things were said, maybe next month, there would be some action, we could get a deal with Japan focusing in on agriculture…improving beef, pork and a variety of other product exports into Japan. There, time really is of the essence…as every month goes by, we are falling behind our competitors, who are getting better tariff treatment—lower tariffs all the time.”
Farm Bureau meantime, praised Senate passage of the Family Farmer Relief Act to raise the Chapter 12 bankruptcy debt cap to 10-mlllion dollars, allowing more family farmers to seek debt relief. AFB President Zippy Duvall says the bill now headed to the president will help farmers deal with rising bankruptcies amid many years of weak commodity prices and falling profits.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters