Ag Informer – The Cost of War

With all eyes on the Ukraine, let’s look back and see how much was lost in our last trade war. China accounted for 95% of the $27 billion in U.S. farm export sales that were lost in 2018 and 2019 as a result of the trade war begun by President Trump, said a USDA report. Sales to China rebounded after the “phase one” trade agreement, but U.S. market share has remained lower than before the tit-for-tat tariffs.

Six U.S. trade partners — Canada, China, the EU, India, Mexico, and Turkey — responded with retaliatory tariffs after the United States imposed duties on imported steel and aluminum and on China for its policies on intellectual property and technology transfer. The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimated total losses of farm exports at $27 billion over two years, or $13.2 billion a year.

U.S. farm exports accounted for 20% of China’s agricultural imports in 2017, the last year before the trade war. The phase one agreement, signed in early 2020, called on China to vastly increase its purchases of U.S. food and farm products. Sales were a record $33.4 billion in fiscal 2021.

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