WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Pork Producers Council warned that possible Chinese tariffs on U.S. pork could have a significant negative impact on rural America. China has indicated it will impose the duties in response to U.S. tariffs and restrictions – announced today – being placed on a host of Chinese goods.
“We sell a lot of pork to China, so higher tariffs on our exports going there will harm our producers and undermine the rural economy,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “No one wins in these tit-for-tat trade disputes, least of all the farmers and the consumers.”
Last year, the U.S. pork industry exported $1.1 billion of product to China, making that country the No. 2 value market for U.S. pork.
Many economists, including Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, have cautioned that tariffs on U.S. agricultural products could disrupt exports to China. Lost sales would have severe economic consequences for America’s farmers, who shipped nearly $20 billion of goods to the Asian nation in 2017.
The U.S. restrictions on Chinese imports come after an inquiry by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) into China’s practices related to technology transfer, licensing and intellectual property rights. USTR’s Section 301 – of the 1974 Trade Act – investigation determined that U.S. companies have lost billions of dollars from being forced by China to disclose intellectual property and to transfer technology.
“When it comes to trade, we expect all countries to follow international rules and to trade fairly,” Heimerl said. “We also expe
NCOLN, NEB. – “Today’s action by President Trump to impose tariffs on a number of Chinese goods in order to address the United States’ trade imbalance with China is cause for great concern.”
“This move has the potential to launch the U.S. into a trade war with China. While we anticipate retaliatory measures to be both strategic and overtly political, it is likely, a number of agricultural products will be targeted for retaliation.”
“China remains the number one customer of U.S. soy, buying more than one of every four rows of soybeans growing in U.S. farm fields. With Nebraska farmers and ranchers already suffering through a 50 percent drop in net farm income in the past five years, this action has the potential to make this situation considerably worse.”
“These tariffs may be aimed at China, but the cost will be incurred on American consumers who will pay more at the checkout line for the items they shop for every day. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of trade and how concerning this latest action by the Trump administration is for Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and consumers.”
Washington, D.C. – A statement from U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight:
“While we are not surprised, we are dismayed at new tariffs announced today by the Trump Administration against China, which will almost certainly prompt immediate and painful retaliation against U.S. agriculture and which have already complicated our global efforts to promote sales of U.S. grains and grain products.
“The farmers and exporters we represent have been here before in our relationship with China. Since 2010, we have been adversely impacted by trade policy actions by China against U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), sorghum, ethanol and corn. We have supported targeted, U.S. government efforts to address these issues but nevertheless remained dedicated to the China market because it holds immense growth potential for U.S. agriculture.
“In the near term, we will continue our work to diversify the markets to which our products are exported, focused on sales that can support prices this crop year. Based on our recent experience, we are well aware this work will be an uphill battle because our reputation as a reliable supplier has come into question.
“In the longer term, U.S. agriculture must have a stable and coherent trade policy to thrive. The world is watching what our country does next – and markets have long memories. Agriculture is a positive contributor to the balance of trade, and the international marketplace offers the best available opportunity for growth in the U.S. agriculture sector and the U.S. economy as a whole.
“We will also continue to be in close contact with leaders at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the White House who know how critical open markets are to our industry and have been attentive to our concerns. We appreciate their support during this process and in the trying days ahead.”
BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese government vowed Thursday to take “all necessary measures” to defend the country’s interests if President Donald Trump targets it for allegedly stealing American technology or pressuring U.S. companies to hand it over.
“China will not sit idly to see its legitimate rights damaged and must take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights,” the Commerce Ministry in Beijing said in a statement on its website.
The Trump administration is expected later Thursday to impose trade sanctions on China, perhaps including restrictions on Chinese investment and tariffs on as much as $60 billion worth of Chinese products.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing hoped the U.S. would “refrain from taking actions that are detrimental to both sides.”
Dozens of industry groups sent a letter last weekend to Trump warning that “the imposition of sweeping tariffs would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the U.S. economy, provoking retaliation; stifling U.S. agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers.”
The announcement will mark the end of a seven-month U.S. investigation into the hardball tactics China has used to challenge U.S. supremacy in technology, including dispatching hackers to steal commercial secrets and demanding that U.S. companies hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market. The administration argues that years of negotiations with China have failed to produce results.
President Donald Trump on Thursday directed his top trade adviser to impose an estimated $50 billion in new tariffs against Chinese goods, his latest move against what he sees as unfair trade practices even as markets remain skittish about a possible trade war.
The tariffs target continued Chinese violations of intellectual property and technology transfer agreements that have disadvantaged U.S. companies and individuals. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have 15 days to release the list of Chinese goods and sectors that will be targeted, followed by a 30-day public comment period.
US soyabean exports will be targeted if the Trump administration imposes further tariffs on China, said Hu Xijin, editor of nationalist tabloid the Global Times, which is controlled by the Chinese Communist party mouthpiece the People’s Daily. “I’m sure if Trump imposes high tariffs on imported products from China, the backlash will first come to American soybeans worth over $10 billion sold to China every year. This is no casual comment. Please read tomorrow’s Global Times for further information,” Mr Hu, who often writes the paper’s editorials, said on Twitter. While not directly expressing official Chinese Communist party opinion, Mr Hu’s editorials are often seen as reflections of the more bellicose end of policy positions under consideration by Beijing, and are sometimes written as a way of gauging international reaction to potential policies. With China the biggest buyer of US soyabeans — accounting for about 60 per cent of total exports last year, worth $12.4bn — the American Soybean Association last week said it was concerned about a potential trade war, and requested a meeting with President Trump. But analysts have suggested that China would be unable to quickly diversify its soyabean imports away from the US, because its other main supplier, Brazil, lacks sufficient stocks. Its domestic production is far below its soyabean needs, mostly for animal feed.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A group of Iowa soybean farmers will travel to China this week in hopes of smoothing over any rift in the trade relationship caused by the Trump administration’s announced tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Iowa Soybean Association President Bill Shipley says now isn’t the time for the U.S. to retreat as a trusted source of soybeans because U.S. commodity prices are sliding and other countries are ramping up production.
Nearly one of every four rows of soybeans grown in Iowa is destined for China. Last year’s Iowa crop was valued at more than $5 billion.
The soybean group’s CEO Kirk Leeds says agriculture trade is often the first casualty in any trade war or retaliation but Iowa farmers want to tell the Chinese personally of their commitment to maintaining trade.
The White House has asked China to come up with a plan that would cut $100 billion off the trade deficit it currently has with the U.S.
An administration official says that would be a reduction of more than 25 percent from last year’s trade gap with China. Bloomberg says the U.S. trade shortfall in goods traded with China surged another eight percent during the first year of the Trump presidency. Commerce Department data released last month showed the deficit at a record $375 billion.
A tweet from President Trump on Wednesday appeared to say China had been asked to reduce the trade deficit by $1 billion instead of the $100 billion reduction which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Trump has repeatedly expressed dismay over the rising trade deficit with China, reinforcing that in a recent conversation with the President of China.
A White House official was asked about the difference between the Wall Street Journal report and what the president tweeted recently. The official confirmed that the Trump tweet was a “typo,” and he meant $100 billion.