Fueled by $14.5 billion in Trump tariff payments, U.S. net farm income will climb to its highest total since the commodity boom crested in 2013 and a dramatic rebound from the plunge that accompanied its collapse, the USDA estimated. When crop insurance indemnities are added to "direct farm program payments," a category that includes trade war aid, land stewardship payments and traditional crop supports, the government will provide an unusually high 31 percent of farm income this year.
In 48-hour span, starting Friday, President Trump roiled global markets by Tweeting his intention to again raise tariffs on China and ordering U.S. companies out of the country, then appeared to backpedal, saying at the G7 summit he was having "second thoughts" about escalating the U.S.-Sino trade war. The weekend ended with a bit of potentially good news on trade, when Trump and Japan President Shinzo Abe announced an agreement "in principle" on a deal that would include Japan buying surplus corn from the U.S.
When China raised its tariff on U.S. pork in April 2018, it sent producers scrambling to replace the lost export sales. A year later, the scramble paid off, as U.S. producers replaced a big chunk of the lost sales by striking deals with smaller markets, according to an analysis by Reuters.
The farm safety net offers many strands of support to farmers swamped by a historically slow planting season, but the strands pull in different directions, says associate professor Bradley Lubben, of the University of Nebraska. "The complexity for producer decision-making is compounded," he said, when potential Trump tariff payments and disaster aid are woven into traditional crop subsidies and crop insurance.
In a sign that their patience is waning, soybean leaders called for talks, not tariffs, in the Sino-U.S. trade war. “With depressed prices and unsold stocks expected to double by the 2019 harvest, soybean farmers are not willing to be collateral damage in an endless tariff war,” said Davie …
While U.S. and Chinese officials publicly set a goal of “meaningful increases” in farm exports, President Trump wants to more than double U.S. sales to China in the near term, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.
In a pair of tweets on Monday, President Trump touted a potential trade deal with China that would mean massive Chinese purchases of U.S. farm exports. The tweets followed a joint statement by the two nations that a deal would include “meaningful increases” in agricultural goods.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will celebrate the reopening of the Chinese market to U.S. beef on Friday at the same time the Trump administration is considering trade action against Beijing. The first shipment of U.S. beef arrived in China on June 19 following a 13-year absence from that market.