As Trade War Looms With China, Michigan Soybean Farmers Are Nervous

Apr 5, 2018

Following the Trump administration’s announcement of sweeping tariffs on Chinese products, China responded this week announcing tariffs of their own. As WKAR's Karel Vega reports, the tariff on one Michigan agricultural staple has farmers nervous.

China has announced they will will impose a 25 percent levy on 106 U.S. products. Those products range from cars, to whiskey, to soybeans. Among the 30 soybean producing states in the U.S., Michigan is the 12th largest.


Kathy Maurer is the financial and international marketing director for the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. She says immediately after China announced the tariffs, soybean prices on the global market dropped by almost 40 percent.


“It will affect U.S. soybean farmers dramatically." Says Maurer. "As we export 13.9 billion dollars worth of soybeans to China every year.”


In Michigan, that amounts to nearly 1.8 billion dollars from the 12,000 soybean farms in the state. The Michigan soybean industry employs about 14 thousand people.


In a statement released this week, The American Soybean Association says they are urging lawmakers to reconsider negotiating with China.


Maurer says China is the biggest consumer of U.S. soybeans. China has not yet announced when the tariffs will start.