The Chinese Government announced on Monday, August 5, 2019, that they are suspending all U.S. agricultural purchases effective immediately. The quick escalation of the ongoing trade battle was expected in response to the Administration’s recent implementation of an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods.
U.S. agriculture and the California citrus industry continue to suffer the unintended consequences of the larger trade dialogue between the two countries. As our government targets China’s steel, aluminum, and technology sectors, China is hitting back with the only significant leverage they have which is the U.S. agricultural sector.
In response to continued Chinese tariffs, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has dedicated $104 million to the citrus industry through the food purchase program to move fruit out of the marketplace that would have been originally sold in China.
“We greatly appreciate the Administration’s continued commitment to offset the financial impacts to the citrus industry and to address unfair trade practices,” stated CCM President Casey Creamer. “The latest action by China to halt Ag purchases will only lead to additional market disruption both domestically and internationally that must be addressed in the short-term. While we appreciate the near-term support, the best remedy for our growers is a quick resolution to the ongoing disputes.”