Kansas farmer discusses state impact of trade dispute with China

Published: Aug. 5, 2019 at 6:45 PM CDT
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The agriculture community responds to the latest action in the trade war with China as the country announced Monday it's halting the purchase of all commodities from the United States.

With that announcement, Eyewitness News spoke with Kansas farmer about how this will impact agricultural producers in the state.

Some Kansas farmers are having a tough year and now China refuses to buy their crops in retaliation of tariffs.

"I think you could make the case that it'd only hurt Kansas farmers," says Harvey County farmer Steven McCloud. "...Anytime there's a trade dispute, agriculture takes it on the chin. In the case of China, given their large amount of ag imports, this is one of their major points of leverage in any trade dispute."

So far this year, American agriculture exports to China are down more than $1 billion, and in Kansas, nearly half of its agriculture is exported.

"Typically in Kansas, approximately 48 percent of crops and livestock, is my understanding, is actually exported," McCloud says. "Not all of that goes to China, some goes to Mexico, Canada, and other countries. But just under half of agriculture that is produced in Kansas is exported."

McCloud says Kansas farmers have already been seeing the effects on the trade dispute, but he thinks the situation will continue to get worse.