Update May 2018: China has not waited for tariffs to rise; they just stopped buying US soy beans. China is the largest market for US soy beans...not any more. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/02/it-appears-china-has-stopped-buying-soybeans-from-the-us-altogether-because-of-trade-fight.html?__source=sha
- China canceled a net 62,690 metric tons of U.S. soybean purchases in the two weeks ended April 19, the Bloomberg article pointed out, citing USDA data for the current marketing year.
- The country is the second largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, and soybeans have historically have been one of the top products sold to the Asian giant, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service."
Northeastern Colorado is like Nebraska, from Ft. Morgan through Hillrose (my father’s birthplace) past Sterling to the Nebraska line. The last crop my grandfather raised was soybeans. In fact, Colorado State University has recently promoted more soybean planting because of its potential as a biofuel. Beef in Colorado is a $3.7 billion per year industry. I live in Colorado’s cattle and hay raising country. China had just lifted bans on US beef imports, but now they have just raised tariffs on US beef as well.
A couple of weeks ago family members and I took a 2400 mile round trip drive from Denver to Iowa’s southeastern border with the Mississippi , mostly following !-76 and I 80, for a memorial service for a family member. It had been over twenty years since I had traveled across far northeastern Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa, the roots of both sides of my parents’ and my grandparents’ families. When I last made that trek I remember passing one corn field after another. This year for every two cornfields I saw was one field planted in soybeans. Towering above the landscape were new looking ethanol processing plants. Farm houses looked well maintained and the heartland looked prosperous. However, Donald Trump’s trade policy has just resulted in China retaliating by raising tariffs on US imports from our agricultural heartland.