China’s decision to scrap its anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases and a 179 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum has energized U.S. industry officials who hope it’s a sign that U.S.-Chinese trade relations are improving.
Prospects for U.S. farm exports can change suddenly and dramatically. Breaking into foreign markets takes decades of persistent hard work and hefty investments in building infrastructure, relationships and, ultimately, sales.
U.S. sorghum producers say they are unfairly caught in the middle of a trade fight between the U.S. and China, which on Tuesday accused the U.S. of dumping the grain on its markets and announced plans to impose a fee of 179 percent on U.S. sorghum imports.
U.S. almond farmers were just starting to put behind them a port strike three years ago that decimated exports, and now they are bracing for the impacts of a new 15 percent Chinese tariff that's just one aspect of the burgeoning U.S.-China trade war.
President Donald Trump signaled today he’s willing to significantly up the ante in the escalating trade fight with China by proposing an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue released a statement shortly afterwards, doubling down on his recent promises to protect farmers and ranchers from becoming collateral damage in the spat.
USDA officials are working under increasing pressure to devise programs to help compensate farmers for expected losses due to new Chinese tariffs, but the complexity of the task is daunting, say government officials.