National Grange: Trump do no harm to agriculture

Wisconsin State Farmer
National Grange organization

On April 4, the nation's oldest agriculture advocacy organization, the National Grange, released a statement about the potential trade war with China that could devastate America's agricultural sector and do great harm to our economy.

National Grange President Betsy E. Huber said in the statement:

"The National Grange message to the White House is “Mr. President, do no harm to agriculture.” Our looming trade war with China is serious and will be devastating to America’s farmers and ranchers.  Commodity prices at the farm gate are already at levels far below profitability.  If current trade posturing does escalate to a full-fledged trade war with China, our country will slip from an agriculture recession today into an agriculture depression tomorrow.  China has shown it is more than willing to target America’s food producers with retaliatory tariffs on our ag exports.

"China appears ready to target America’s most valuable food and agriculture exports with serious retaliatory tariffs.   Soybeans, pork, apples, cherries, wine, grapes, oranges and pistachios appear to be at the top of China’s retaliatory list.  Chinese tariffs will close markets, dam up market channels, and cause commodity prices to fall even more.  For example, if a 10 percent tariff were to be placed on soybeans, U.S. soybean exports would fall by a third, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council.  A 30 percent tariff would drop U.S. soybean exports to China by 71 percent. 

"Other countries around the world are anxiously waiting to pick up America’s food and agriculture export markets from a U.S.-China trade war. These lost markets would be very difficult to regain later.  We again ask the Administration to do no harm to agriculture."