American soybeans are the biggest target of China’s retaliatory tariffs but that does not mean soybean farmers have turned against President Donald Trump.
American Soybean Association Chair Ron Moore told CNBC Friday that he is not mad at the president over the trade war, even though he described the effects of Chinese tariffs on soybeans as devastating.
“Are you mad at the president?” CNBC’s Michelle Caruso Cabrera asked.
“No. Not really. Mostly rural America supported President Trump in the last election. And these trade tariff issues–the final outcome is yet to be determined,” Moore said.
Soybeans are America’s biggest agricultural export to China, amounting to more than $12 billion of sales last year. The Chinese government says it is imposing a 25 percent levy on shipments on soybeans and other agricultural goods in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese technology.
Moore said that soybean farmers “admire” the president for his efforts with respect to trade with China but disagree with his use of tariffs
“We understand the president’s goal to make sure that China becomes a better and more fair trading partner. We understand that they have not treated American business and American trading partners very well over the past several decades. And we admire the president for trying to make sure that that is corrected. We just think there are alternative choices to make China trade fairly than going into the tariff war.”
China is the world’s largest importer of soy. It has aimed its tariffs directly at the American heartland, hoping to weaken support for the Trump administration in the months before the midterm election.