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American deep pocket farmers have started getting the sharp pains of the trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Yahoo reports Tuesday that in response to President Donald Trump’s recently announcing 10% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, China allowed the yuan to weaken and suspended purchases of U.S. agricultural products.
“The Chinese market has a large capacity and the prospect of importing high-quality U.S. agricultural products is bright,” state-owned media Xinhua said on Monday. “However, we hope the U.S. will conscientiously implement the consensus reached at the [G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan] between the heads of the two countries, and implement the commitments to create the necessary conditions for cooperation in the agricultural fields between the two countries.”
Otherwise, America farmers were dismayed by the developments.
“This is just another nail in the coffin,” Tyler Stafslien, a North Dakota-based soybean farmer, told Yahoo Finance. “To see this thing only seems to be getting worse rather than better is very concerning, and the American taxpayers may have to foot another round of funding if this keeps up — or we could see a ton of farmers’ loss throughout this nation.”
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said that the pain extended across the country.
“China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by,” Duvall stated.
‘Tariff policies have been doing financial harm to farmers’
Although farmers have collectively been receiving billions in market facilitation payments from the USDA, Stafslien sees these payments as “band-aids.”
The Trump administration announced in July that it would be providing an additional $16 billion in aid to farmers affected by the trade war.
“It’s certainly proof that the administration recognizes their tariff policies have been doing financial harm to farmers and rural America,” Stafslien said.
Michelle Ziesch, a North Dakota farmer who grows beef cattle, corn, soybeans, and other crops, said she was “very disappointed” by the latest development.
“We were hoping that by now, the trade talks would be continuing and hopefully making some progress,” she told Yahoo Finance. “So that’s a pretty big setback.”
Back in May 2019, U.S soybean prices reached its lowest level in a decade, dipping below $8 a bushel for the first time since 2008. But for farmers to make some kind of profit, they have still sold their crops despite the record-low prices.
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