Press Release

Illinois Soybean Growers Concerned About New White House Tariffs Announcement

March 08, 2018

For Immediate Release

Illinois Soybean Growers Concerned About New White House Tariffs Announcement

 

BLOOMINGTON, ILL. – March 8, 2018 - In response to President Donald J. Trump's announcement about new tariffs, the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) issued the following statement from Lynn Rohrscheib, ISG chairwoman and soybean farmer from Fairmount, Ill.:
 
“Today the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is upset about implications that may result from President Donald J. Trump’s announcement about tariffs.
 
Trade and access to international customers are vital to Illinois’ 43,000 soybean farmers. Action by China to restrict imports of Illinois and U.S. soybeans could be the first step in a series of actions that would harm farmers like me.
 
If China doesn’t buy from the U.S., they will buy more of their soybeans from one of our competitors. If Chinese customers establish a good relationship with our competitors they may be more likely to buy from them in the future. This will cut our exports not only now, but also in the future. History tells us that Illinois farmers lose in these situations and we will have to work hard to recover from this market loss.
 
About 60 percent of the nearly 612 million bushels of soybeans grown by farmers like me throughout Illinois during 2017 will be exported. China is our top customer, by far, and purchases nearly 25 percent of Illinois soybeans. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, China accounted for about $14 billion in value and nearly 1.2 billion bushels of soybeans from the U.S.
 
We have seen that Brazil and Argentina are happy to take our place in the Chinese marketplace. Their harvest will be in full swing and they can supply the market both short- and long-term.
 
These potential tariffs have the potential to heavily impact soybean farmers. As an industry, we rely on these markets to sell our crop and maintain our profitability, which in turn supports our communities. Our prices are already down 40 percent and farm income is down 50 percent from years past. We need international markets to thrive.
 
Illinois soybean growers look to the White House to move forward with a China strategy that strengthens the competitiveness of our domestic industries while at the same time growing our export opportunities.”
Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) is a membership organization serving more than 43,000 Illinois soybean growers. ISG provides advocacy in Springfield and Washington, D.C., to promote the interests of Illinois soybean farmers and programs that enhance soybean production and demand. Voice for Soy, the online action center supported by ISG, allows growers to easily connect with legislators and regulators to advocate for Illinois agriculture. For more information about ISG, visit the website www.ilsoygrowers.com.

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For more information, contact:
 
Amy Roady
Director of Communications
roadya@ilsoy.org
(618) 535-7937
 
Mike Levin
Director of Issues Management Analysis
levinm@ilsoy.org
(309) 808-3606    
 
Sarah Duwe
sduwe@morganmyers.com
(920) 205-5495