Soy Growers Concerned Over President Trump’s Steep Tariffs on Steel, Aluminum

Mar 01, 2018

The American Soybean Association (ASA) voiced its extreme concern today as President Donald Trump announced the decision to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Trump plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum to protect both industries, which he states poses a threat to national security. These tariffs will be applied across all countries including China. China is not only U.S. soy’s largest customer, but also the top market for U.S. soybeans, purchasing more than all our other customers combined, accounting for $14 billion in sales and more than a third of total U.S. soybean production.

These tariffs could lead to retaliation from China and would significantly endanger the current trade relationship between the U.S. and China for soybeans.

“The tariffs announced today by the administration will put the interests of other domestic industries over farmers,” said John Heisdorffer, ASA president and Iowa soy grower. “Prior to today’s announcement, China has indicated that it may retaliate against U.S. soybean imports, which would be devastating to U.S. soy growers. Our competitors in Brazil and Argentina are all too happy to pick up supplying the Chinese market.”

Retaliation from China would add significant further injury to an already-hobbled farm economy. Prices are down 40 percent and farm income is down 50 percent, and we simply can’t afford for those numbers to get worse.

Soybean farmers urge the White House to move forward with a China strategy that strengthens the competitiveness of our domestic industries, while at the same time growing our export opportunities.