Import Tariffs on China Could Spell Trouble for North Dakota Farmers
North Dakota farmers have 7 million acres of farmland devoted to soybean production
BARNES COUNTY, N.D. — President Trump recently enforced $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. With China quickly putting its own tariffs on American goods, one field that could be in trouble is agriculture.
“We’re long term going to see some kind of impact in agriculture partly because it’s the easiest thing for them to do quickly and partly because of the $14 billion of soybeans that China buys from the United States, again $1.5 billion is from North Dakota,” said Nancy Johnson, the Executive Director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.
Last year the United States exported 33 million tons of soybeans to China, with a significant amount coming from the farms of North Dakota.
“Out of the seven million acres that we produce here in the state, we export to China 71 percent of that production, and it has the equivalent of $1.5 billion in revenue for our state’s farmers,” said Monte Peterson, a soybean farmer based just outside of Valley City.
As the Vice President of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Peterson ventured down to Washington DC to talk with Congressmen about the impact the tariffs could have on soybean farmers.
The trade tensions come at a time when the farm economy is down 50 percent and crop prices are down 40 percent.
“The timing is not great. We depend on those exports to support our business,” said Peterson.
If tariffs keep being rolled out, farmers will be on the edges of their seats to see if agriculture is immediately affected.
There are seven million acres of land devoted to planting soybeans in North Dakota. Seven out of every 10 rows of soybeans are exported to China through the Pacific Northwest.