OSA Asks Trump Administration to Reconsider Harmful Trade War
The Ohio Soybean Association expressed its frustration today about the escalation of a trade dispute that has resulted in China’s announcement of a proposed 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans. OSA is calling on the White House to reconsider proposed tariffs imposed upon the largest customer of U.S. and Ohio soybeans that led to this retaliation. China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production.
“A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean exports to China not only will have a devastating effect on every Ohio soybean farmer, but it will also hurt every Ohioan who relies upon a healthy rural economy,” said Scott Metzger, OSA first vice president and Ross County soybean farmer. “This retaliatory action by China was both predictable and avoidable, and it is the reason soybean farmers asked the Trump Administration not to impose tariffs against China in the first place.”
Soybeans are Ohio’s largest crop and top agricultural export. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio’s $1.8 billion in soybean exports in 2017 accounted for more than 3.5 percent of all Ohio commodity exports. However, as of this morning, soybean futures are already down nearly 40 cents a bushel, which, at a projected U.S. 2018 crop of 4.3 billion bushels, cost American soybean farmers $1.72 billion in value.
China has said that its 25 percent tariff will only go into effect based on the course of action the administration takes. OSA therefore calls upon President Trump to counter China’s policies on intellectual property in a way that does not require tariffs and engage the Chinese in a constructive manner that will achieve a positive result for soybean farmers.