June 28, 2018


US says ready to support farmers to be affected by China retaliatory tariff



US President Donald Trump, in imposing tariff hike on a host of Chinese goods including steel and aluminum, hoped to "pressure the Chinese to stop engaging in unfair practices and fully open up its markets to US products, including US technologies", said Agriculture Sonny Perdue in an article published in USA Today newspaper.


Instead, China has retaliated by imposing as well 25% tariff on over 170 US seafood products and some 375 other non-seafood goods starting July 6, the same day that the US starts imposing a 25% tariff on roughly 800 of 1,100 Chinese products. 


"There is no denying that the disruption in trade relations with China is unsettling to many in agriculture, but if the President succeeds in changing China's behaviour, America's farmers will reap the benefits", Perdue stated.


The US has accused China of intellectual theft including allegedly trying to steal in 2011 genetically engineered seeds from an Iowa corn field and sending them back to China so they could be reverse-engineered.


"Those seeds, the result of years of research and millions of dollars of American investment, now stand as one of countless pieces of evidence in the case against China for intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices", Perdue said in his strongly worded USA Today article.


Perdue also revealed that the President had instructed him to craft a strategy to support American farmers in the face of retaliatory tariffs. "At the US Department of Agriculture, we have tools at our disposal to support farmers faced with losses that might occur due to downturns in commodities markets", he said, adding that they haven't unveiled the strategy at this point, "as it is not good practice to open our playbook while the opposing team is watching".


Perdue said that if China "does not soon mend its ways, we will quickly begin fulfilling our promise to support producers, who have become casualties of these disputes".


To read the complete article, visit https://usat.ly/2tAvkdp.