Soybean farmers expect to be impacted by new China tariffs

Published: Jul. 6, 2018 at 6:57 PM CDT
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China's retaliation against President Trump's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect on July 5th.

The American Soybean Association says since tariff talks began back in March U.S. soybean prices have dropped dramatically. One local farmer told 13 NEWS he expects to see an impact.

"It’s kind of been the story of our life all the time, you know somebody else is making farm decisions not the farmers,” Lifelong farmer Jim Badger said.

Jim’s been farming soybeans in Carbondale since he was around 10 years old, and has seen the ups and downs.

"They've worked to get these prices up over the years and it's kind of disheartening to have it drop 20 percent."

After months of soybean growers’ requests to back away from tariffs on Chinese goods, they've seen prices steadily decline, and now they've been hit with the tariff.

ASA says soybean crops represent 41 percent of the products on Chinas tariff list, so U.S. farmers are sure to take a hit, as soybeans are our number one export to the country.

Senator Jerry Moran says he agrees with President Trump that steps need to be taken to address China’s misconduct, but disagrees tariffs are the best tool ‎to change China's behavior.

"Tariffs not only hurt our farmers, ranchers and airplane manufacturers, but they also harm every American consumer. We should be working with our allies to isolate China rather than escalate a trade war,” Moran said in a statement.

So while many variables are up in the air right now as to what may exactly happen, ultimately Jim said, he's learned to have faith in the process, and believes everything will work itself out in the long run.

"You have to have faith to be a farmer. Some years you don't get anything and some years you have a bumper crop.” Jim said. “When you are as old as I am you learn to set a little bit back for the tough years, but when you're starting and buying machinery and everything there isn't anything to set back, so it makes it really hard on a young farmer."

K-State University Agricultural Economist Daniel O' Brien says he expects this trade dispute will eventually be settled - possibly by Fall 2018 as China will need U.S. soybean supplies.