China imposes tariffs on dozens of U.S. farm products
On April 2 China’s Ministry of Commerce announced new 15 percent tariffs on 120 U.S. products and increased tariffs on eight others by 15 percent in response to U.S. tariffs on imports of Chinese steel and aluminum. In a separate action, China announced on April 4 a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans.
Of the 128 products on the April 2 list, 92 are fruits and nuts. Pecans, pork and soybeans are among the affected commodities produced in Georgia, which is the top pecan-producing state. While pecans are not named specifically in the list of targeted products, they fall under the listed category of “other fresh or dried nuts,” according to the U.S. Pecan Growers Council (USPGC).
The USPGC indicated that about 20 percent of U.S. pecan production is exported to China. In 2017, U.S. pecan producers shipped 30,551 metric tons of in-shell pecans and kernels, valued at more than $197 million. With the increased tariff, Chinese customers will be paying 22 percent duties on U.S. pecans.
“While significant, the new tariff is still below the 24 percent level which has been in place for quite some time,” the USPGC said in a prepared statement. “There remains uncertainty about the effect of the increase. Its impact may depend on the length of the dispute. It is to be hoped that at some point a settlement will be reached to resolve the dispute.”
The tariffs on U.S. pork products are increased by 25 percent.
China buys 61 percent of all U.S. soybean exports and more than 30 percent of total U.S. soybean production, according to the American Soybean Association. In 2017, Georgia growers produced 6.3 million bushels of soybeans.