New Proposed Chinese Tariffs Hit Two Major Montana Commodities
On Wednesday, April 4, China released a list of 106 proposed tariffs on U.S. goods and although most of the country was buzzing about the 25 percent tariff on soybeans, the commodities that have Montana producers most concerned are durum wheat and beef products.
"I can tell you that livestock and grain make up the two biggest components of our agriculture economy and agriculture is our number one driver here in the state of Montana, so anything that affects these two commodities is obviously going to have an impact on Montana's ag community and, correspondingly, the rest of the state," said Montana Farm Bureau National Affairs Director Nicole Rolf.
These new tariffs aren’t actually being imposed yet, but the markets they could impact are already responding.
"Proposed tariffs this round are not set to go into affect until the U.S. second round of proposed tariffs go into affect," Rolf said. "There may be some delay in that, hopefully there will be, but certainly it's a concern. You know, wheat prices have been very low in the last few growing seasons and anything that puts continued pressure to move those markets down is going to be very scary."
Rolf says the timing of this announcement is especially hard for Montana farmers who have to make big decisions this spring about what to plant.