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Trade with China still stalled

The much-hoped-for trade deal with China continues to flounder as negotiations once again came up short.

“China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by. In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “Farm Bureau economists tell us exports to China were down by $1.3 billion during the first half of the year. Now, we stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

“We are grateful for Market Facilitation Program payments many farmers and ranchers have received, allowing them to continue farming during this difficult time. Even so, we know that aid cannot last forever. We urge negotiators to redouble their efforts to arrive at an agreement, and quickly. Exports ensure farmers will continue to supply safe, healthful and affordable food for families here and around the world.”

From 2017 to 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to China fell more than 50 percent, dropping to $9.1 billion. In 2014, U.S. agricultural exports to China exceeded $24 billion.

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