June President’s Message

Hello Soy Family,

As I write this I’m sitting in an airport in Brazil, headed home after a trip with USSEC to the International Oilseed Producers Dialogue. It has been an eye-opening trip to see firsthand Brazil’s soybean fields and meet with local growers. It is clear from this trip that Brazil could find ways to increase production if demand from China increases as a result of the U.S. Administration’s Section 301 tariffs, which are set to take effect in July.

With that, I can once again say that trade took center stage this month.

On the morning of June 15 President Trump officially announced that the U.S. will implement 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products, effective July 6. That same afternoon, China responded in-kind, placing a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of U.S. imports, effective July 6. These retaliatory tariffs include a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. On Monday, June 18, President Trump ordered U.S. trade officials to craft a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that would be hit with an additional 10 percent tariff.

ASA, along with board members, states, growers and the entire soy family has worked tirelessly to convey to the Administration and Members of Congress that these tariffs will unduly harm soy growers, and rural America.

I hope you joined ASA’s social media days, utilizing the hashtags #TradeNotTariffs and #RethinkTheTariffs, and have taken action through the Soy Action Center. If not, there is still time as we will be utilizing a new hashtag, #FacesOfTariffs on July 3 to show the real impact these tariffs will have across the countryside.

This is an issue that frankly isn’t going away easily, and we count on your continued engagement and advocacy.

June also saw action on the farm bill. After failing to pass their version of the farm bill in May, the House’s farm bill passed on June 21 with a vote of 213-211. The Senate passed their version on June 28 with a vote of 86-11.

ASA continues to encourage bipartisan work in both chambers to see a farm bill completed before it is set to expire at the end of September. A farm bill provides certainty and stability, which is especially needed during this down farm economy and increased volatility in export markets due to heightened trade tensions.

Also of note this month was EPA’s announcement of the 2019-2020 RFS levels, calling for 2.43 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for 2020, which is a 330 million gallon increase over the 2019 levels. For total Advanced Biofuels, an overall category to which biodiesel also qualifies, EPA proposed 4.88 billion gallons for 2019, a 590 million gallon increase over 2018 levels.

It has been a busy month, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the board meeting in Washington, DC July 9-12. Your continued engagement is noted, appreciated and most importantly, it is needed. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of soy growers alongside all of you.

See you in Washington. Best,

 

 

John Heisdorffer

President, American Soybean Association

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