Washington, D.C. – A statement from U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight:
“While we are not surprised, we are dismayed at new tariffs announced today by the Trump Administration against China, which will almost certainly prompt immediate and painful retaliation against U.S. agriculture and which have already complicated our global efforts to promote sales of U.S. grains and grain products.
“The farmers and exporters we represent have been here before in our relationship with China. Since 2010, we have been adversely impacted by trade policy actions by China against U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), sorghum, ethanol and corn. We have supported targeted, U.S. government efforts to address these issues but nevertheless remained dedicated to the China market because it holds immense growth potential for U.S. agriculture.
“In the near term, we will continue our work to diversify the markets to which our products are exported, focused on sales that can support prices this crop year. Based on our recent experience, we are well aware this work will be an uphill battle because our reputation as a reliable supplier has come into question.
“In the longer term, U.S. agriculture must have a stable and coherent trade policy to thrive. The world is watching what our country does next – and markets have long memories. Agriculture is a positive contributor to the balance of trade, and the international marketplace offers the best available opportunity for growth in the U.S. agriculture sector and the U.S. economy as a whole.
“We will also continue to be in close contact with leaders at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the White House who know how critical open markets are to our industry and have been attentive to our concerns. We appreciate their support during this process and in the trying days ahead.”