The US farmers have lost another customer after China cancelled the purchase of agricultural products from US. This was in retaliation to Trump’s announcement of imposing 10% tariff on Chinese goods worth $300 billion.
It has been a really hard year for the farmers who struggled through intense heat wave and flooding which has destroyed the crop yield and the ongoing trade war has resulted in the lowering of prices as well as profits. There was more than a half drop in agricultural exports to China in the previous year. $19.5 billion worth agricultural goods was imported by China in 2017 and made them the second-biggest buyer for the American farmers. As per the United States Department of Agriculture, this dropped to $9.2 billion in 2018 due to the trade wars. There has been a 20% drop in the agricultural imports from the US this year. The revenue of the US livestock, dairy and grain farmers have fell drastically. There was a 45% drop in farm income dropping down from $123.4 billion in the year 2013 to $63 billion in the previous year as per USDA.
China has been the top buyer of US soybeans in the world, buying nearly 60% of the soybeans exports in the previous year. Hence it is the grain farmers of the US who will be most badly affected because of China’s exit. According to analysts there has been a 9% drop in the soybean prices since the trade war began. After China announced their exit from the American agriculture on Tuesday, Trump has promised the farmers that this will not harm the American farm sector and that more aid will be provided if necessary in 2020. Some of the farmers said that the subsidies provided by the government has not been adequate enough to cover the losses incurred and even said that they would make more profit in their market rather than through any government program.
According to Farm Pulse survey, there was almost 79% approval rating for Trump among the farmers and nearly 78% of them believed that they would be benefited from the trade war.