U.S. Senators from South Dakota Mike Rounds and John Thune are urging President Trump to prioritize restoring the U.S. soybean market access in China.
The two sent a joint letter to Trump, asking him to discuss the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping when they meet at the upcoming G-20 summit..
The duo said in their letter, “We appreciate your efforts to address China’s unfair trade practices, but our soybean producers cannot continue to bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs.”
South Dakota is expected to produce 275 million bushels of soybeans this year, and two-thirds of that production is typically exported to China, but this year, U.S. soybean exports to China have nearly ground to a halt.
Full text of the letter below:
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
As senators representing a state with significant soybean production, we write to request that you actively pursue reopening U.S. soybean exports to China during your upcoming meeting with President Xi Jinping.
U.S. soybean producers have spent decades establishing and expanding market access in China. In 2017, China was the top market for U.S. soybean exports, with approximately 30 percent of the soybeans harvested in the United States exported to China.
As you know, U.S. soybean exports to China nearly ceased after China imposed retaliatory tariffs on our soybeans in July. China then began utilizing U.S. global competitors to supply its protein needs. If the United States continues to lose this critical market, there is a diminishing chance it will be fully regained, which will result in long-term reduced soybean prices for U.S. producers.
We appreciate your efforts to address China’s unfair trade practices, but our soybean producers cannot continue to bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tariffs, especially considering the current weak agricultural economy. As you continue working to reach a trade agreement with China, we respectfully request that you make restoring U.S. soybean market access in China a top priority.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to continuing to work with you to expand market access for U.S. agricultural exports.