The American Soybean Association launched the #FacesOfTariffs campaign
By Diego Flammini
A new social media campaign is humanizing the impacts of a trade war with China.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) launched the #FacesOfTariffs hashtag on Twitter and Facebook on Tuesday to remind the federal government that a trade war with China could have a significant impact on the soybean industry.
Chinese tariffs on US$34 billion worth of American imports begin today.
A 25 percent levy on U.S. soybeans accounts for about 41 percent of the total value of effected products.
Several other ag products including corn, wheat and equipment are also on the list of taxed goods.
U.S. soybean farmers are using the hashtag to document how a trade war with their biggest customer is impacting them now and how the tense trade relations could impact tomorrow’s farmers.
“These young boys are the #FacesofTariffs (and) our decisions and the impacts on our export customers not only impact our current operation and markets, they impact our next generation’s market access and ag’s future,” Michelle Jones, president of the Montana Grain Growers Association, posted on Twitter Tuesday.
“The future of the operation is what we focus on – it’s not today and it’s probably not even tomorrow,” Dave Walton, a soybean producer from Wilton, IA, told i24News yesterday. “I’d like to impress upon (President Trump) that (the future) is what we’re putting at risk if we don’t get things solved in an amicable way with both parties.”
The U.S. soybean industry has repeatedly asked the President over the last few months to rethink entering a trade war with China.
“The math is simple. You tax soybean exports at 25 percent, and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers,” John Heisdorffer, ASA president, said in a statement today.
At least one other ag group expressed concern about the current trade situation.
“China dealt its latest blow to American agriculture today with threats of even more tariffs on the horizon,” Casey Guernsey, spokesman for Americans for Farmers & Families, said in a statement today. “Following Canada’s tariffs on U.S. products earlier this week, America’s farmers and families are staring down a dark path with no signs of relief in sight.”