MSGA: Chinese retaliation becoming a reality for Minnesota soybean farmers

Following China’s announcement of a proposed 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) is expressing its extreme displeasure about the escalation of a trade war with the largest customer of U.S. soybeans, and calling on the White House to reconsider the tariffs that led to this retaliation.

“In a down farm economy, with farm income down 50 percent from 2013, this could have a devastating impact on Minnesota’s 28,000 soybean farmers,” says MSGA President Michael Petefish. “The last thing the administration should be doing is starting a trade war on the backs of American farmers.”

China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, equating to nearly $14 billion annually and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production. Minnesota exports more than $2 billion in soybeans annually; China is the state’s top export market.

The 25 percent tariff would be in addition to the current 3 percent tariff already imposed on U.S. soybeans. Additionally, all U.S. soybeans entering China are subject to a value-added tax of 10 percent.

“We have already seen soybean futures down nearly 40 cents as of this morning,” says Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka. “That’s more than a billion dollars lost in value for our crop just this morning. Looking at the big picture, disruption in the food supply hurts not just farmers, but all consumers.”

To learn more about MSGA’s reaction to the potential tariffs, below are a number of interviews, featuring MSGA directors:

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