1st District Congressman Rick Crawford’stweet that President Trump’s tariffs raised soybean exports 21 percent is getting blasted by his Democratic opponent.
“Yesterday, Representative Rick Crawford bragged on Twitter about his support for the
soybean tariffs. His gloating occurred on the same day that soybean prices plummeted to a 10-year low. Rep. Crawford’s blessing of this reckless trade war is unfortunate, naïve, and mistaken,” Chintan Desai wrote.
Crawford’s tweet linked to a Bloomberg story that is behind a paywall. However, a Bloomberg report yesterday that China is turning to Brazil for soybean imports can be found online.
And yesterday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the Arkansas Farm Bureau’s saying the Trump tariffs on China were a bad deal for Arkansas farmers, and that soybean prices were down 35 cents.
Here’s Desai’s statement on Crawford’s Tweet:
Desai: Chinese Tariffs on Soybeans may Irreversibly Harm Arkansan Farmers
Jonesboro, AR (June 20, 2018) — U.S. Congressional candidate for the Arkansas 1st District, Chintan Desai, issued the following statement in response to Representative Rick Crawford’s comments on Twitter.
“Yesterday, Representative Rick Crawford bragged on Twitter about his support for the soybean tariffs. His gloating occurred on the same day that soybean prices plummeted to a 10 year low. Rep. Crawford’s blessing of this reckless trade war is unfortunate, naïve, and mistaken. Arkansan farmers and families are the biggest losers in this trade war.
These tariffs have caused U.S. soybean prices to crater. This hurts the real incomes of Arkansan farmers and families, who have no interest in being collateral damage in this misguided trade war. There is a serious danger that China will eventually develop new
sources of soybeans to replace U.S. supply by buying up and developing land in South America. This would have irreversible and detrimental effects on Arkansan farmers. We need Congressional leadership to push this administration to take the steps necessary to help grow our agricultural communities.”
Soybean prices have dropped 12 percent since March, to a 10 year low.(1) According to the Arkansas Farm Bureau, soybeans are Arkansas’s largest row crop, producing over 150 million bushels valued at more than $1.5 billion. China is the world’s largest soybean importer, buying 93 metric tons of soybean in 2016. Sixty-two percent of American soybean exports go to China. A Purdue University study estimates that a 30 percent Chinese tariff could cause Chinese imports of U.S. soybean to drop by 71 percent, total U.S. soybean exports to fall by 40 percent, and total U.S. soybean production to decrease by 17 percent.(2)
Economists at the University of Arkansas have warned that retaliatory 25% tariffs on agriculture could cost Arkansas $383 million.(3)