Possible China tariffs causing concerns for Michigan farmers

MICHIGAN – On Tuesday, President Trump announced his proposal to impose tariffs on 1,300 different Chinese products, to punish the country for stealing U.S. trade secrets. Tuesday's news comes days after China announced its own possible tariffs; it's a situation that's fueling concerns of a possible trade war between the countries.

The economic tensions between the U.S. and China are being closely monitored by the pork and soybean industries here in Michigan.

The U.S. is a major exporter of pork to China and soybean farmers are vulnerable to Chinese tariffs, because they depend on that market to buy $14 billion dollars worth of soybeans each year.

“Any type of a tariff could reduce what we get for what we grow, and that could be really hard on a lot of growers,” says David Williams, President of Michigan Soybean Association. “If we get less money for them that affects our bottom line. It could take us from being slightly profitable to operating at a loss.”

At this point, no tariffs have been announced for soybeans. However, China has considered imposing a 25% tariff on pork products from America.

“The timing of this comes when we have a lot of product, a lot of hogs coming. And so strategically the timing of this to affect our markets is at a bad time,” says Bob Dykuis, of Dykuis Farms Inc. “When about 25% of the product is exported, you kind of live and die by that as far as your markets. The Chinese announcement has affected the last couple of days dramatically on the futures.”

David Williams says if a soybean tariff goes into effect it wouldn’t be long before soybean farmers in Michigan started feeling the pinch. Soybeans are also used for animal feed, including pigs, so they would have an impact on each other.

As for the possible tariff war, China is threatening to match president Trump’s move to a tee with their own tariffs on U.S. products.

A public hearing for proposed tariffs is set for May 15th and won’t go into effect before that.

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6 comments

  • wings

    First it is Russia(fake news),then it was North Korea(little boys fighting) now it is China,where I will tax you higher then you are me. This just shows you that trumpy boy has and never will, have a clue of what he is doing Trumpy boy is destroying the U.S.It is time that either congress or the the citizens of the US to take action against this worthless potus.
    It is time to force him to Resign or start the Impeachment.

  • J.B.

    Funny…The so called “small” mom and pop farmers they are trying to portray themselves as “in my area at least” have a FLEET of quad-trac Case tractors that prob cost 20 million+ and farm about 10,000 acres…
    So i would take this whole “It could take us from being “”slightly”” profitable to operating at a loss.” business with a grain or 2 of salt…i think they will be OK regardless.
    And also dont worry…I doubt very much if China is going to tax the very products that they consume the most of, by raising their cost 25% +…on the very products they use the most of…..
    I mean….really?

    This is just fear mongering at its finest by the usual contrary interests..”the media, political opponents,China itself etc”…

    If you really think China isn’t screwing us big time on just about every import they send us..
    Don’t take my word or the bought and paid 4 medias word for it..do a little researching of your own.
    And you will quickly find out,China isn’t even remotely close to being the friendly trading partner that certain very self interested parties would like Joe Public to believe….
    They need us to buy their crap ALOT more than we need to mass import their cheap consumer tech.
    I personally can live without cheap Chinese imports…

    Believe it or not, in a land pretty close by and a time scale of not very long ago…
    “Made in America” actually meant something.
    And IMHO it still should.