MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 4 — Alabama farmers today expressed concern about the impact of Chinese tariffs on commodity prices but remained optimistic trade negotiations could produce long-term benefits for the United States.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said farmers are watching the situation closely as planting season begins.
“Farmers are understandably concerned about the drop in commodity prices, but we’re optimistic America and China will ultimately reach an agreement before additional tariffs take effect,” Parnell said. “We are communicating with Congress and President Trump’s administration about the effect these tariffs would have on Alabama farmers. We encourage them to reach a deal that’s good for all sectors of the U.S. economy.”
U.S. import duties on Chinese aluminum and steel were announced last month. In return, China placed tariffs on U.S. pork, tree nuts and other products, which went into effect Monday. Last night, China announced plans to levy a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of additional U.S. goods, including soybeans, corn, beef, frozen orange juice and whiskey. China’s Commerce Ministry said the tariffs would be imposed on 106 products in 14 categories, but the implementation date will depend on when the U.S. government imposes tariffs on Chinese products.
Parnell said it’s not surprising China is planning to retaliate against agriculture. Farm and food exports are the bright spot in U.S. trade, generating a $20 billion trade surplus with other countries.