Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Bad Timing for Tariffs

China has to import more chicken and pork due to some domestic problems with porcine herds—a loss of 30 percent of swine herds alone and thus a greater need to import animal protein. However, because of the trade war between it and the US, American livestock exporters aren’t sharing in the opportunity. Overall, exports are down roughly 5 percent. If President Trump wants to do something good for Americans in the agricultural business, it seems he’d pay attention to this lost opportunity.

Overall agricultural exports to China are down 30 percent ($2.5B decrease on $8B exported the year before).

August 1, 2019 update: Now Bloomberg news reports that 10% of farm organizations have received more than 50% of the government’s aid to farmers hurt by the retaliatory tariffs. The government’s assistance seems to be helping big farms get bigger and not helping small farms survive the Trump Trade War—which the president offered was easy to win.

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