China's announcement of a possible future retaliatory 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. sorghum will not help China's consumers or U.S. farmers, according to National Sorghum Producers. Such tariffs would mean additional financial burdens on U.S. sorghum farmers, who are already in the midst of cooperating with China's self-initiated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations of U.S. sorghum. More tariffs would also mean higher prices for Chinese consumers for whom sorghum is an important product. Chinese customers are valued trading partners of the U.S. sorghum industry and farmers, purchasing over half of total U.S. sorghum exports. NSP Chairman and Nebraska farmer Don Bloss issued the following statement:
"Right now we are taking a close look at the list indicating sorghum and many other important agriculture products are among those included for a possible future 25 percent Chinese tariff. There are additional steps in the process announced today. The proposed tariffs are not immediate and the timing of possible additional tariffs remains uncertain. But the financial toll on our producers is already taking place with this morning's widespread market reaction to the announcement by the Chinese government.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time sorghum farmers have faced depressed prices and market uncertainty. We saw a similar reaction after the announcement of anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of U.S. sorghum into China on February 4, following the Administration's tariff action on imports of Chinese solar panels and washing machines.
"Trade wars are not good for anyone, and we urge President Trump and other negotiators to take a constructive approach in the ongoing negotiations that do not threaten more harm to U.S. sorghum producers. Our hope is that this situation will be resolved sooner rather than later. Sorghum is good for U.S. farmers and traders, and good for China."