Yesterday marked a full six months since China retaliated against the Trump administration’s 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods. On July 6, 2018, the US-China trade war came into full effect, shaking the foundation of a once strong and expansive trade relationship. After six months of halted sales and decreasing crop prices, the trade war continues to have a significant impact on American soybean growers.
Before the trade war, China was a significant portion of US soybean export. According to a recent press release from the American Soybean Association (ASA), the country imported 31% of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60% of total US exports. Since the tariffs began last summer, U.S. soybean growers have seen a nearly 20% drop in soy prices, and the outlook still looks bleak for renewed trade relationships with China.
Today, soybean growers took to social media, using the hashtags #185DaysStillNeedTrade and #RescindtheTariffs to express their concern and frustration. On Twitter, many soybean growers who used the hashtag noted the US-China trade relationship is critical to renewing stability and security for farmers. Others forecasted tougher times in the year to come if the tariffs are not rescinded. Organizations such as the ASA and others joined the conversation, as well, stating “Six months is too long. Soy growers need trade, not tariffs.”
As the new year begins, it’s still unclear whether or not President Trump will take action to rescind the China tariffs or if American farmers will gain back the security and certainty they lost six months ago.