American farmers have lost their fourth largest market as China officially stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural goods, CNBC reported on Tuesday, dealing a devastating blow to an already ailing industry.
Tariffs previously imposed on Chinese goods by the Trump administration had already led to lower sales — soybean exports to China dropped more than 70 percent from 2017 to 2019.
With the Chinese market out altogether, the damage will only be greater, and there will be ripple effects within the agricultural industry and beyond.
Lacking Chinese buyers for soybeans, farmers are likely to turn to other crops, such as corn, which will saturate the market and reduce corn prices.
Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge said U.S. farmers are facing a “dangerous situation” with the loss of China’s market, adding: “There are going to be some serious repercussions for farmers.”
President Donald Trump, who has said previously that trade wars are easy to win, tweeted support for American farmers in the face of devastating news.
“As they have learned in the last two years, our great American Farmers know that China will not be able to hurt them in that their President has stood with them and done what no other president would do ,” Trump tweeted. “And I’ll do it again next year if necessary!”