Woodburn farmer ‘concerned’ about tariffs, but will they come to be?

Local News

A new study shows that Chinese tariffs on soybeans could have a huge impact on Indiana farmers. The Purdue University study showed it could drop U.S. exports to China by 70 percent.

China is threatening to go after farmers if President Trump goes ahead with billions of dollars of tariffs on Chinese imports.

Right now the questions is will any of the tariffs come to be? Either way, with 62 percent of U.S. exported soybeans going to China, farmers are paying attention.

“Just the word ‘tariff,’ and retaliation concerns us in the farm sector,” Woodburn farmer Roger Hadley II said.

Hadley has been farming in Woodburn long enough to have worked through tariffs before including those imposed in 1980 by the Carter Administration.

“I know in the matter of the next week or so beans lost over 25 percent of their price,” Hadley said.. “We got over it, but it took a real hurt on farmers for that year. I do remember that. It seemed like it took a year and a half, two years for the price to come back.”

Economists at Purdue University studied what could happen to U.S soybean exports if a tariff was imposed.

“The impacts are big,” Agricultural Economist Wally Tyner said.

Tyner and his partner looked at the possibility of tariffs between 10 and 30 percent. At its worst, exporting to China could go down 71 percent, costing the U.S. around $3 billion

Tyner found out China may feel the loss too.

“In some of the simulations we did [China’s] economic well being dropped as much, or even more, than the U.S. did,” Tyner said.

Like the rest of us, for Tyner and Hadley it’s a waiting game to see what President Trump and China decide.

“[President Trump] said he’s going to [impose tariffs]. and the way he seems to work is that launches a negotiation process,” Tyner said.

“Is it going to come to reality? Your guess is as good as mine. Am I concerned? I’m always concerned when they talk about tariffs,” Hadley said.

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