Trade War Retaliation Cost Agriculture $27 Billion in Exports

Tariffs imposed on American agricultural exports in retaliation for Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from key trading partners cost agriculture a lot of export sales. Combine that with the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports and China’s retaliatory actions, and it led to an overall $27 billion reduction in U.S. ag exports from mid-2018 to the end of 2019. Six trading partners, including Canada, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Turkey all responded to the U.S. tariffs by implementing retaliatory duties on America’s agricultural and food exports. A summary of a report from the Economic Research Service says state-level losses were largely focused in the Midwest, with Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas accounting for roughly 11 percent, 11 percent, and seven percent, respectively, of all losses. Soybeans accounted for the largest share of the total losses at 71 percent, followed by sorghum and pork. Brazil gained most of the lost U.S. soybean trade.

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