President Trump is trying to attain trade equity with China, but his trade war is having a devastating impact on U.S. farmers, which could lead to long term losses of the Chinese market for our agricultural products since they are being replaced by competing countries. The $12 billion farmers subsidy is just a temporary reprieve for farmers.
China typically imports large quantities of U.S. fruit, pork, cotton, soybeans and other farm products. It imports 60% of U.S. soybean exports, about 30 million tons per year. Although the European Union agreed to import more soybeans, it’s 14 million tons falls far short of the 30 million tons to China.
Brazil is the largest exporter of soybeans to China. It has increased its soybean exports to China by 27% to 71 million tons, and it is clearing large swaths of the Amazon forest for soybean production. Unfortunately, the forest is being cleared with set fires that are out of control, and the clearing has a huge adverse impact on the world since the rain forest absorbs millions of tons of carbon emissions each year; along with trees throughout the planet.
Note: My wife’s father, Alton Jones, was a cattle farmer.