(Yicai Global) March 27-- The American Soybean Association (ASA) stated its significant concern about the government's latest protectionist measures against China and opposed the policy which will harm US soybean farming, Chinese media reported yesterday.
"It scares us to death, because 60 percent of our soybeans are exported and China takes $14 billion worth of soybeans and soybean products. So, it's a real concern," said ASA President John Heisdorffer, per a Duluth News Tribune report of March 12.
"Multiple reports indicate the Chinese have US soybeans squarely in their sights for retaliation, and this decision places soybean farmers across the country in financial danger," he warned. China is the largest importer of US soya, and its annual import volume makes up nearly one-third of all the country's soybean production with a value of USD14 billion, Heisdorffer noted. US farm income has fallen sharply from 2013 and is struggling to recover. "There is a real struggle in agriculture to keep everything going right now," he added. "It's extremely frustrating to have the administration taking aim at our largest trading partner," as state Xinhua News Agency reported.
The association's farmers will be severely affected if the US and China wage a trade war, he stressed.
American agriculture can greatly contribute to redressing the trade imbalance because China is anticipated to substantially increase soybean imports in the next 10 years, Heisdorffer said. "Soybeans can lead this growth in China, which is projected to significantly increase soybean imports over the next ten years. We should be talking about actions that grow this important market, not risk losing it," he concluded, Xinhua reported.
In addition to its use as animal feed, Chinese regularly consume soy milk with breakfast and tofu at all meals with soy sauce as a ubiquitous condiment. China's soy production is declining, and China today is the leading soya importer and consumer, importing 83 million tons in 2016, the website of the sustainable supply-chain not-for-profit Solidaridad Network states.
Forty-five other US trade associations representing some of the leading companies in the world's largest economy have urged President Donald Trump not to levy high tariffs on China, warning that such move would hurt the US economy and consumers, Xinhua reported.