Trade Worries Taint Farm Economy Outlook

A recent report from CoBank pointed out that trade worries are clouding the economic outlook for U.S. farmers and ranchers.  And, a recent report from Purdue University demonstrates that potential trade retaliation measures on U.S. soybeans by China could be costly.  Today's update looks briefly at these two reports, as well as other news articles that highlight ongoing trade issues in the farm sector.
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Pork, Ethanol Among Agricultural Products Targeted By China in Trade Conflict

Charles Clover, Lucy Hornby and James Kynge reported on Friday at The Financial Times Online that, "Beijing signalled its readiness to go toe-to-toe with US President Donald Trump’s campaign of tariffs against China on Friday, proposing new levies on 128 American imports that heightened market fears of a looming trade war between the world’s largest economies.  China’s response to Mr Trump bore the hallmarks of a carefully calibrated warning. Beijing said it was planning tariffs on about $3bn in imports, including a 15 per cent tariff on US steel pipes, fresh fruit and wine, and a 25 per cent tariff on pork and recycled aluminum."
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New U.S. Tariffs Ramp-Up Fear of Ag Trade Retaliation; Soybean Growers Especially Worried

On Thursday, President Trump implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum, an action that had been anticipated since last week.  Today's update explores recent news items that highlight the potential negative impact the executive branch action could have on the U.S. farm sector.  Although Canada and Mexico were exempt from the new tariffs, if other countries, particularly China, take retaliatory trade measures based on U.S. trade policy, negative short-term and long-term impacts could be expected for U.S. farmers.
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Trade Complications: President Signals Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Bargaining Chips in NAFTA Renegotiations

Wall Street Journal writer William Mauldin reported on Monday that, "President Donald Trump on Monday sought to use his threat to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as leverage to extract concessions from North American trading partners, while his party’s congressional leaders worked to derail a proposal that they said could spark a trade war."
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Trade Retaliation Measures Could Hurt U.S. Farm Sector

A FarmPolicyNews update last month discussed executive branch implementation of U.S. import tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, as well as the possibility of future implementation of import barriers on steel and aluminum.  That update also included a look at the potential of retaliatory measures, particularly by China, that could have a negative impact on U.S. agricultural exports and farm income.  On Thursday, President Trump signaled that he plans to levy the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports soon.  Today's update looks at recent news items that highlight the negative impact trade retaliation measures could have on U.S. agriculture if the President follows through on his import tariff promise.
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Farm Groups Concerned About Additional U.S. Trade Restrictions- China Agricultural Retaliation

Following the implementation of U.S. import tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, more recent news regarding potential executive branch trade barriers imposed on steel and aluminum imports have caused concern among some American agricultural groups.  China is a leading producer of solar panels and steel, and is also a key export destination for U.S. agricultural exports.  As U.S. farm income potentially languishes for another year, export markets have become increasingly important to the value of U.S. crop production.  Some observers have cautioned that agricultural products could be targeted by China in retaliation for additional U.S. trade restrictions.
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House Ag Committee Hearing with Sec. Perdue: Trade Issues

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified before the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday morning  at a hearing on the “State of the Rural Economy.”  Recall that back in May, shortly after his confirmation, Sec. Perdue also provided lawmakers on the Committee with an update on rural economic issues.  Trade issues with China and the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were among the key concerns that emerged on Tuesday.
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