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Chinese buyers want soybeans out of politics

Source: Wikimedia Commons

AUDIO: Agribusiness Matters 3-22-18

Iowa soybean growers worry about Friday’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese metals.

A delegation from the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) is in China. The delegation gave an accounting of the Chinese’s reaction to the import tariffs and the hard fought relationship.

No one knows what action China will take when the United States imposes tariffs on imported steel and aluminum Friday. However, the U.S. soybean industry is likely a key target. China is expected to buy 3.7 million bushels of soybeans this year, with 40% coming from the United State and South America.

Kirk Leeds, ISA executive director, says the proposed tariffs are top of mind for Ambassador Branstad and Chinese buyers of U.S. soybeans.

“There is certainly an uneasiness, here in China, about the trade relationship between China and the United States,” Leeds said. “The Ambassador was certainly well aware of the concerns of Iowa and U.S. farmers as it relates to the anticipated announcements by this Administration. His promise to us was to continue to be an advocate for the importance of agricultural trade.”

An editorial posted in the Global Times yesterday indicated U.S. soybean farmers were receiving massive subsidies to sell soybeans to China. Leeds views it as posturing, but Iowa soybean farmer Lindsay Greiner had this response:

“I heard about that report too, and I was unaware of these massive subsidies we were receiving,” Greiner said. “Some of the news I’ve watched over here indicates the Chinese are very interested in sitting down, talking about these trade issues and getting them resolved. I hope the U.S. is committed as well.”

Trump’s tariffs go into effect Friday night, at midnight.