Categories Markets, Retail

Tariffs and trade war hurting American farmers

The trade war between the US and China is hurting American farmers, particularly those who cultivate soybeans. Soybeans is the second most valuable crop in the US and as per data from the US Department of Agriculture, the total value of soybeans produced last year was $41 billion. Corn takes first place with $48.5 billion. Of the total value of the agricultural products covered in the report, soybeans accounted for around 29%.

The recently imposed tariffs are hurting American farmers, who now incur higher costs, which is weighing down on their profits. Soybean prices have been falling since the start of trade tensions earlier this year, lowering revenues and hurting profits.

Arkansas, which relies primarily on agriculture and soybeans, is reeling under the pressure of the trade war. According to a report by CNBC, Governor Asa Hutchinson expressed support for President Trump’s policies in general but pressed for a resolution to the trade tensions as fast as possible. Arkansas exports around $850 million of soybeans every year, making the crop its biggest export. The recent tariffs are likely to cut it by more than half, the report stated.

There are industry experts who believe that China has quite a few tricks up its sleeves and if the US does not watch out, it will end up losing a couple of bets to the Asian country in the trade game. When it comes to soybean imports, China has the option to both increase its own production as well as increase imports from other soybean-producing countries such as Brazil.

Amid its spat with the US, China can strike friendships with other countries by introducing policies and making deals that boost trade, thereby protecting and strengthening its economy. The US must take measures to ensure that its own industries do not end up paying a high price, particularly the agricultural industry.

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