Farmer members of the American Soybean Association have taken to Twitter and Facebook today (July 3) in an effort to put faces to their plight, posting pictures on the farm with the hashtag #FacesofTariffs, and asking the Trump administration to find an alternate solution to concerns over intellectual property theft, which has been cited by the president as the impetus for the tariffs.
On July 6, U.S. soybean farmers will be hit with a 25% duty on beans exported to China. Trump officially announced on June 15 that the U.S. will implement 25% tariffs on an initial list of $34 billion worth of Chinese products under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, effective July 6. China swiftly responded in kind, announcing a retaliatory 25% tariff on $34 billion of U.S. imports, also effective July 6, and which does include soybeans.
“It is imperative that we maintain the robust market we have worked so hard for decades to establish with China,” said American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa. “China is our top market, importing 31% of our crop last year. They have a sizeable feed industry that’s dependent on soybeans, the largest swine herd in the world, the largest global aquaculture industry, and are rapidly modernizing their poultry, egg, dairy, and beef industries. They are a vital trading partner, and we need to continue to do business with China without the sting of these tariffs.”
China is the top export market for U.S. soybeans, accounting for almost $14 billion in sales, representing nearly a third of total U.S. soybean production in 2017.