The following statement on possible trade retaliation by China against U.S. farm exports may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“If the trade situation continues to deteriorate, our lives as farmers and ranchers will become more difficult. America’s farmers and ranchers export more than $20 billion of farm products to China – more than 15 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports. After Canada, China is our second-largest customer for ag exports. In retaliation for what our government says are justified U.S. trade measures against China on intellectual property issues, Chinese officials now have indicated they are prepared to slap tariffs on U.S. pork, wine and fruit.
“Our farmers and ranchers depend on trade for a living, and we are very concerned about retaliation resulting from the tariffs announced yesterday. China is an important market for U.S. pork. With about a billion dollars’ worth of pork going to China and Hong Kong, it’s our second-biggest market. This will really hurt U.S. pork producers.
“Farm income across commodities has fallen by about 50 percent over the past four years. Retaliation in the trade arena makes our outlook even worse. This could not be happening at a worse time for American agriculture. We expect all countries to trade fairly, and we support enforcement of trade rules. But we also hope trade disputes can be resolved without harming an industry that is a bright spot on trade and is so important to rural America.”