Soybean Farmer Fears
China has floated tariffs on $50 billion of American goods, including such agricultural products as pork, beef, ethanol and soybeans.
John Airy, president of the Corn and Soybean Association, believes if China goes through with a tariff on soybeans, the economy could take a big hit.
"Agriculture is constantly working to open export markets to move more product – whether it's soybeans, corn, wine, whatever – and it's been tough in the rural economy the last couple years," Airy says. "Profit margins are almost nonexistent. This is not what we needed."
The American Soybean Association says China is the largest consumer of U.S. soybeans, buying about one-third of all U.S. production each year. Airy says farmers expect to battle the weather each year, but tariff threats make the job even harder and he hopes cooler heads will prevail.
"At this point, it's still shaking big sticks," says Airy. "You know, we haven't actually whacked anybody yet. We're just shaking a stick, but boy, it's sure got people worried and it comes down in a hurry to the farm gate."
The American Soybean Association says they will continue to monitor the situation.