Proposed Chinese tariffs will hurt ag

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By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the U.S., free and fair trade in the international market is vital for American producers to thrive and grow. With approximately one-fifth of U.S. agriculture products going to foreign markets, our farmers and ranchers, in particular, benefit from positive trade agreements.

China recently unveiled a proposal to impose an additional 25 percent tariff on more than 100 U.S. goods, including soybeans, wheat, corn and beef, and it has already begun imposing increased tariffs on pork products. This is in response to recent actions by the administration to impose sanctions and increase tariffs on certain products coming into the United States. China is one of our biggest customers of soybeans, buying more than 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports each year. In South Dakota, we produced more than 241 million bushels of soybeans in 2017, many of which were purchased by China. Increased tariffs on soybeans and other U.S. products would be devastating to our already-struggling ag economy.

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