Clements: China has enacted an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork and an additional 15 percent tariff on other agricultural products, including tree nuts, fruits and wine. With China buying nearly $20 billion in U.S. agricultural products annually, the tariffs present an almost certain decrease in farm exports to China. Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation senior director of congressional relations, says the effects of the tariffs will be seen soon.
Salmonsen: We’ll probably know fairly quickly what impact that’s having on sales and the buying patterns in China. We could see down the line some impact if they can’t find other homes for those products, if some of them have to be here on the domestic market, you’d expect that you’d see some decreasing in prices to producers.
Clements: Salmonsen says another tariff announcement coming this week could trigger more retaliation from China on U.S. agriculture.
Salmonsen: The president has announced there will be some new tariffs proposed on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese product imports. This comes from a different part of trade law and a different issue dealing with how they treat our intellectual property. This wouldn’t take effect probably for another two months, but you may expect some retaliatory moves from China related to that.
Clements: However, Salmonsen points out that if the trade issue regarding steel and aluminum can be resolved, U.S. agriculture would benefit.
Salmonsen: We’ve been through this in the past and over time things usually get worked out. And here, the background policy that started all this is a lot of overcapacity of steel production in the world, a lot of that related to Chinese production, and that’s a process needs to be addressed. So, hopefully that can be worked out and U.S. ag products won’t be facing these retaliatory tariffs for very long.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.