WASHINGTON — It’s been ten months since China imposed tariffs on U.S. soybeans and the Trade War still has no end in sight. The breakdown in trade comes at one of the worst financial times in U.S. agriculture’s history. An already bleak farm economy took a gut punch in 2018 as net farm income fell to levels last seen during the farm financial crisis of the 1980s. The most recent decline came even as the USDA infused some $8 billion of direct payments to farmers through Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.
Our goal isn’t to argue the validity or merits of the Trade War. Although, we will state the obvious and point out that the agriculture sector is paying a very steep price in the dispute. The purpose here is to outline key challenges about the current situation. Click here to read more.