YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Farmers struggle as trade war goes on
By Gene Hall
You will never get much argument in farm country about the Chinese being bad trade partners. Their misbehavior has been a problem for decades.
That said, China has purchased a lot of our farm products—more than $21 billion dollars in 2016. That number declined, with tariff pressure, to about $9 billion last year. As the trade war deepens, the Chinese say, at least, their buying will go to zero.
Texas is the top-producing cotton state, and China was a big part of the market. Cotton is very export dependent since there are few textile mills remaining in the U.S.
Soybeans, grains and dairy products are also hard hit.
Relief payments from the Trump administration have been helpful, perhaps even allowing some farmers to plant another year. But it’s hard to find a farmer who wants to do it that way.
Signing free and fair trade agreements soon is the answer, elusive as that has been.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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