American Gothic. Painted by Grant Wood (1930).

The U.S./China Trade Wars Hurt Farmers

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CNBC News reported on Saturday that farmers lost one of their biggest trading partners after China officially announced they would no longer purchase U.S. agricultural products.

China’s decision to stop all U.S. agricultural products followed President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would impose an additional 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

As Snip Bytes reported the new tariff is set to begin on September 1st and is in addition to the already 25 percent tariff on $250 billion on Chinese imports.

The impact of the 25 percent tariff has already been felt by farmers, such as Bob Kuylen from North Dakota, who said, “It’s really, really getting bad out here,” he added, “Trump is ruining our markets.”

According to the USDA, U.S. agriculture exports to China, in 2018, totaled $9.2 billion, a 24 percent decrease from 2017 when exports totaled $12.1 billion.

CNBC News notes that for 2019 China’s agricultural imports from the U.S. are down roughly 20 percent, with dairy, livestock, and grain, seeing their revenue evaporate.

Last Wednesday, Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue was confronted by farmers hurt by the escalating trade war during a listening session at the annual Farmfest in Minnesota.

Brian Thalmann, the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association said lashed out at President Trump for tweeting that farmers are starting to do great again, telling Perdue, “we are not starting to do great again.”

Perdue went on to joke telling those gathered, “what do you call two farmers in a basement? A whine cellar.”

The quip was rebuffed via Twitter.