American farmers are increasingly worried about reports they’re reading on President Donald Trump’s trade negotiations with China, Bloomberg reports.
According to Bloomberg, farmers are “alarmed by signs that the administration would accept Chinese purchase target pledges for commodities like soybeans and pork without a promise to lift retaliatory tariffs” that were leveled against them after Trump launched his trade war last year.
Bloomberg’s sources say there has been no agreement yet to remove China’s retaliatory tariffs, and farmers are being given no assurances that these tariffs will get removed as part of any final bargain.
“Our guys are being told, sorry, you guys are going to have to pay the price,” Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, tells Bloomberg. “It’s a hard message to accept.”
Two other agricultural representatives similarly tell Bloomberg that they have so far failed in their efforts to persuade the Trump administration about the importance of removing the tariffs — even if it means China winds up slapping additional tariffs on their products.
Additionally, farmers fear that China may not even buy as much as it once did under the new deal because it’s now had time to find sellers from countries other than the United States.
“The first year was damaging enough, this year could be much more impactful,” Powers explained to Bloomberg. “The Chinese have had a year to find alternative sources.”