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PNS Daily Newscast - November 19, 2018. 


More than 1,200 missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: A pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; and concerns that proposed changes to 'Green Card' rules favor the wealthy.

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Iowa Soybean Farmers Wary of Tariff Threats

Soybean farmers lost an estimated $1.7 billion Wednesday as soybean futures tumbled with speculation of an impending trade war. (ilsoy.org)
Soybean farmers lost an estimated $1.7 billion Wednesday as soybean futures tumbled with speculation of an impending trade war. (ilsoy.org)
April 5, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa farmers are anxiously watching tit-for-tat tariff threats, as China has responded to import duties proposed by the Trump administration on aluminum and steel by going after products produced in states such as Iowa. China has floated tariffs on $50 billion of American goods, including such agricultural products as pork, beef, ethanol and soybeans.

John Airy, president of the Corn and Soybean Association in Linn County, believes if China goes through with a tariff on soybeans, Iowa's economy could take a big hit.

"Agriculture is constantly working to open export markets to move more product – whether it's soybeans, corn, wine, whatever – and it's been tough in the rural economy the last couple years,” Airy says. “Profit margins are almost nonexistent. This is not what we needed."

Iowa, a state where Donald Trump won nearly every county in 2016, is second only to Illinois in soybean production. The President says trade policies have favored China over the United States, and believes the balance needs to be corrected to grow the economy.

The American Soybean Association says China is the largest consumer of U.S. soybeans, buying about one-third of all U.S. production each year. Airy says farmers expect to battle the weather each year, but tariff threats make the job even harder and he hopes cooler heads will prevail.

"At this point, it's still shaking big sticks,” says Airy. “You know, we haven't actually whacked anybody yet. We're just shaking a stick, but boy, it's sure got people worried and it comes down in a hurry to the farm gate."

The American Soybean Association says soybean farmers lost an estimated $1.7 billion on Wednesday as soybean futures tumbled amid speculation of an impending trade war.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA