China threatens that U.S. agriculture won’t recover from the tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries. In the South China Morning Post, a government official warned that U.S. agriculture may never regain lost market share stemming from the trade war. China alleges that “many countries have the willingness” and capacity to take over market share occupied by U.S. goods.
Since the trade war began, China has imposed duties on 90 percent of agricultural goods from the United States. China charges that addition tariffs will cause “a great decrease” in exports from the U.S. with “limited impact” on China due to diversified import sources.
China’s vice agriculture minister also claimed that Chinese companies had “basically stopped” importing soybeans from U.S. farmers and would deal with the impact by finding alternative ingredients for animal feeds. China is the world’s biggest importer of soybeans, which it uses to make cooking oil, biodiesel and livestock feed.
The U.S. says it will begin imposing tariffs of 25 percent on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports in t, further escalating the trade war between the two countries.
The U.S. Trade Representative’s office says Customs will begin collecting the extra duties on 279 different product lines. The list includes a lot of industrial and machinery products. Agricultural machinery is on the list, including tractor pistons, seeders, planters, and irrigation systems. Bloomberg says this will be the second time the U.S. slapped more duties on Chinese imports in a month.
The move comes as American companies complain that the more tariffs will eventually cost them more to do business and raise consumer prices. China has promised to retaliate with another $16 billion in tariffs on U.S. imports. The tariff total could actually increase soon. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office is looking into the possibility of a ten percent tariff on another $200 billion in Chinese goods. Those duties could be implemented shortly after the comment period ends on September 5th.
The European Union says that the proposed trade talks with the United States wouldn’t include farming. The website Business Times Dot Com says this directly contradicts what President Donald Trump said.
An EU Commission spokeswoman said they’ve been very clear on that fact. The spokeswoman added that agriculture is not part of it, only the things that were specifically mentioned in the statement that came out July 26.
“The joint statement shows no mention of agriculture, as such you’ll see a mention of farmers and a mention of soybeans, which are part of the discussion,” said Mina Andreeva, EU commission spokeswoman. “That is part of the discussion and we will follow up on that.”
The EU clarification was released July 27, one day after the president called the agreement a “major victory for U.S. farmers,” who’ve seen plummeting exports due to Washington’s trade policies. Trump told a rally in Iowa that “We’ve just opened up Europe for you farmers.” The EU may be feeling pressure to emphasize that there was no farming concession made to Trump because of opposition in Europe to more genetically modified imports from America.
WASHINGTON – Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of trade aid for U.S. farmers and ranchers:
“NCBA looks forward to reviewing the details of the Trump Administration’s trade retaliation relief package. Trade agreements and trade enforcement are the most effective long-term solutions to the challenges faced by U.S. beef producers. For many years, U.S. beef has been a target of high tariffs and restrictive trade policies from notorious actors like China and the European Union. We support a vigorous approach to tearing down trade barriers, including non-tariff barriers that are not based on science.
“Removing China’s highly-restrictive barriers on U.S. beef exports could unlock the full potential of that market and result in $4 billion in annual sales. Here at home, beef producers need relief from onerous federal regulations that undermine their businesses. Let’s start by fixing the restrictive hours-of-service rules for livestock haulers, modernizing the Endangered Species Act, and ending the 2015 Waters of the United States rule once and for all.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be the only witness to give testimony during a hearing this week before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Lighthizer is one of the key Trump administration members at the center of the president’s trade strategy that’s led to retaliatory tariffs from China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union, and others.
Many of those tariffs are hitting the farm sector extremely hard and provoking ag groups and farm-state lawmakers to become much more vocal in their opposition to Trump’s tariffs. The opposition is growing after Trump repeated a threat to add even more tariffs to Chinese goods. He told CNBC that he’s “ready to go to $500 billion.” The U.S. originally hit China with $34 billion in tariffs back in July, but then added another $200 billion to that after China matched the first $34 billion.
The escalation was combined with White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro’s complete disregard for the damage the tariffs are doing to the ag economy, drawing sharp responses from ag leaders. Navarro told CNBC that the trade losses due to Chinese tariffs amounted to a “rounding error.”
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers and agricultural economists are worried that president Donald Trump’s trade, immigration and biofuels policies will cost farms billions of dollars in lost income and force some out of business.
Even before Trump began talking tariffs earlier this year farm income was expected to drop 7 percent from last year to just under $60 billion. That’s half of farm income reported just five years ago.
In addition to falling corn, soybean and pork prices caused by the tariff dispute, the administration’s ethanol policy has reduced the use of corn by hundreds of millions of bushels, helping to push prices below profitability and immigration actions risk hampering expansion plans in pork industry.
Some are saying the resulting blow to agriculture could create the worst farm financial crisis since the 1980s.
In retaliating against trade tariffs, the European Union is doubling down on American Whiskey. EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström shut down a request to remove U.S. whiskey from the tariff list as fear the move would place further retaliation from the U.S. on Scotch whiskey.
In making the statement, Politico reports Malmström intends to hit the U.S. “where it hurts,” which includes agriculture. The trade official says the list created by the EU was “drafted on the basis of several parameters, including its capacity to induce policy change in the United States.”
Malmström says its “well known” that the U.S. agriculture sector is one of the “few groups with political clout to bring about change in Washington,” adding “it’s no coincidence” that the EU, Mexico and Canada are targeting U.S. agriculture products in retaliation to the Trump steel and aluminum tariffs.
China’s implementation of tariffs on U.S. products means U.S. pork faces a 62 percent tariff level. The National Pork Producers Council responded that U.S. pork farmers now face large financial losses and contraction because of escalating trade disputes, meaning “less income for pork producers and, ultimately, some of them going out of business.”
China announced a new 25 percent tariff in response to U.S. action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. That tariff is on top of the 25 percent punitive duty levied by China in early April in response to U.S. action under Section 232 of The Trade Expansion Act. U.S. pork already had a 12 percent tariff on exports to China.
The country also has a 13 percent value-added tax on most agricultural imports. China represented 17 percent of total U.S. pork exports by value in 2017. NPPC President Jim Heimerl (Hi’-merle) added: “We need these trade disputes to end.”