Alan Kemper, a farmer from Lafayette, Indiana, and former president of both the American Soybean Association and National Corn Growers Association, woke up early Wednesday [April 4] to see soybeans down 40 cents. He said he thinks it could get worse if China moves ahead with its announcement to slap a 25% higher tariff on soybeans.
[Editor’s note: 94 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified.]
Chinese officials responded quickly Wednesday [April 4] to the Trump administration’s proposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports by announcing higher tariffs on 106 more U.S. commodities, including soybeans.
The new reciprocal tariffs will be on products including soybeans, automobiles and chemical products, worth a total of $50 billion. Soybeans are at the top of the list.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not indicate when the tariffs would take effect. If the tariffs do go into effect, the tariffs on soybeans would go from 3% to 28%, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
The new battles over trade seem to dial back decades of work by commodity groups to build demand.
“We’re not helping our farmers at all right now,” Kemper said, pointing to the immediate price decline overnight. “It just kind of burns me that one person’s voice can overstep all of our gains in a breath or two.”
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