View from the Cab: Trade talk

January 20, 2020

 

Trade tensions were calmed last week when President Donald Trump signed the United States-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement during a signing ceremony at the White House.

 

I certainly hope this trade deal is the start of better times for agriculture. While this could be good for the U.S. economy, what it does for agriculture remains to be seen. Once the deal was announced last Wednesday, corn and soybean prices actually dropped due to uncertainty and a lack of specifics regarding soybeans.

 

The statements from various ag groups and individuals starting pouring in once the deal was announced.

 

“The President has now signed Phase One of a U.S.-China agreement that begins a longer process of finally holding China accountable to its trade commitments and to principles of truly free and fair trade,” said a statement issued by K. Michael Conaway, ranking member of the House Ag Committee.

 

National Pork Producers Council President David Herring and Board Member Craig Andersen attended the signing ceremony. Herring is a hog farmer from Lillington, North Carolina.

 

“NPPC applauds the administration for its hard work in negotiating this deal,” said Herring. “China is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of pork. We are ideally positioned to address this unprecedented sales opportunity for pork in China.”

 

Doug Schroeder, Illinois Soybean Growers President and a soybean farmer from Mahomet, also responded to the trade progress news.

 

“We have a hopeful attitude today as we look at these trade negotiations. We are optimistic that the day will come when we fully restore our vital trading relationship between the U.S. and China,” he said.

 

Schroeder sees the news as a sign of brighter days to come, but hopes more details emerge on the status of China’s current tariff on U.S. soybeans, which were not included in Wednesday’s trade deal. He feels a long-awaited win for the soybean industry will come when the soybean tariffs are fully rescinded.

 

Hopefully, more details emerge in the coming days and those of us in the farming community can have a large burden lifted from our shoulders just in time for the 2020 growing season.

 

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)

 

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