China-U.S. trade war troubles for Indiana farmers

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — America’s trade war with China is impacting farmers here at home in Indiana.

A big question looming in the minds of many Hoosier farmers: When will the trade war end?

According to CNN, China’s soybean imports alone from the United States plunged from 25 million tons in October 2017 to 8.7 million tons in the same period a year later.

“I keep hearing from farmers in my district all the time that it’s getting harder and harder to get their product to the market because the market is becoming so unstable,” Indiana state Rep. Chuck Moseley, a Democrat from Portage, said Thursday.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows the volume of exports of soybeans are down 24% from 2018 to 2019.

“I’m also being told that there’s going to be long-term harm if somebody doesn’t figure out how to find a solution to this tariff war that everybody speaks about, particularly in the agribusiness,” Mosley said.

On Thursday morning on News 8 “Daybreak,” U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said he thinks China’s very calculating.

“They create huge gluts, dumping on the market,” the Indiana Republican said on “Daybreak.” “No one else does that. You need to take care of that now before we lose our negotiating position down the road.”

Indiana state Sen. Victoria Spartz and her family are soybean farmers.

“It’s enjoyable,” said Spartz, a Republican from Noblesville. “You go in the field, you create some real value and, for me, it’s something satisfactory, but it’s extremely difficult and hard work.”

She said she believes it’s important for the state’s economy that lawmakers talk agriculture diversification.

“How we can have a specialty crop. How we’ll be able to have more value-added products,” Spartz explained. “Not just have the raw materials because, generally, historically, that’s not where the highest margins are.”

One thing’s certain. The trade war between the United States and China isn’t over. CNN reports the United States and China have agreed to go back to the negotiating table in Washington to talk trade.

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