Ohio Soybean Group Blasts Tariffs on China

WORTHINGTON, Ohio — The Ohio Soybean Association says the Trump Administration’s decision to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, which China plans to retaliate with 25% tariff on imported U.S. soybeans, will greatly reduce farm income.

China purchases 61% of total U.S. soybean exports and more than 30% of overall U.S. soybean production, according to the association. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting additional duties on designated Chinese goods July 6. 

“We should address our trade challenges by increasing our competitiveness, not creating new barriers,” said Allen Armstrong, president of the Ohio Soybean Association and a farmer in Clark County. “Exports have been one of the few bright spots for farmers in recent years, and we can’t afford another hit to the bottom line.”

A study by The Ohio State University found the proposed tariffs could decrease a farm’s net worth by an estimated 6% and annual net income by 59% over a six-year period, Armstrong noted. He cited a separate study conducted by Purdue University that found total U.S. soybean production could decline by 15%.

“The collateral damage in this trade war will include not only Ohio grain farmers, but all Ohioans,” said Scott Metzger, first vice president of the trade group and a farmer in Ross County. “Farm incomes are at multiyear lows, and this action will harm our state’s largest industry by undermining our top agricultural export.”

According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio’s $1.8 billion in soybean exports in 2017 accounted for more than 3.5%t of all Ohio commodity exports, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Ohio is the sixth largest producer of soybeans in the U.S., with 4.8 million acres planted in 2017 and more than 60% of the state’s entire soybean production exported to international markets. China imported $13.9 billion in U.S. soybeans in 2017.

SOURCE: Ohio Soybeans Association.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.