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This Chart Explains How Badly Trump's Trade War Is Hurting Soybean Farmers

And it could get worse, as China is now considering cutting off all American soybean purchases.

It's soybean harvest season, and there may be no better indication of the damage done by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war than the fact that American soybean exports are down a whopping 40 percent from last year.

The sharp dropoff is due in large part to China's stated policy of cutting back on American soybean purchases as a retaliatory tactic. Shortly after President Donald Trump in July imposed tariffs on about $25 million worth of Chinese goods—a figure that has grown to about $250 million and could go higher after the holiday season passes—China hit back with tariffs on American agricultural products.

Soybeans are particularly vulnerable to Chinese tariffs because America produces far more soybeans than the domestic market demands, with the expectation that about half of all American-grown soybeans will be exported. Farmers planted more than 89 million acres of soybeans across the United States in 2018, narrowly edging out the 88 million acres of corn that were planted, according to an annual survey by the Department of Agriculture. In recent years, nearly 50 percent of the American soybean crop has been exported, with the vast majority of those exports going to China, which is the world's largest consumer of soybeans.

Here's a visual representation of how the trade war has changed that mutually beneficial relationship, courtesy of Karen Braun, global agriculture columnist at Reuters:

A 40 percent decline in a single year is stunning. Equally stunning, perhaps, is the fact that the U.S. has shipped a mere 395,000 tons of soybeans to China since July 27, when China's soybean tariffs took effect. As Braun notes, a typical October week in previous years has seen more than 1 million tons of American soybeans entering Chinese ports.

No wonder, then, that soybean farmers aren't thrilled about the trade war—despite Trump's ham-handed attempt at buying their support by covering some of the losses.

Soybeans that aren't being shipped to China may be getting shipped elsewhere, of course. As China has ramped up purchasing soybeans from Argentina and Brazil, those two countries have sold so many soybeans to China that they've had to turn to American suppliers to meet domestic demand—and if that's not a metaphor for how Trump's trade war has screwed up global supply chains, I don't know what is.

Even if demand from other nations can pick up some of the slack, the Chinese market for soybeans is so large that there's literally no way for American farmers to make up for losing access to China. The result is predictable: excess supply leading to lower prices and economic losses for growers.

While soybeans have been on the front lines of the trade war, farmers have been hit hard across the board. According to the latest projections from the federal Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, 2018 net farm income will be $9.8 billion (or 13 percent) lower than it was in 2017. That would make 2018 the worst year for American farms since 2002, when the numbers are adjusted for inflation.

The longer the trade war continues, the more likely it becomes that American farmers will be shut out of Chinese markets in 2019 and beyond. Already, China is making plans to further reduce dependence on American soybeans—some Chinese trade analysts tell CNN that the country's goal is to stop buying American soybeans entirely.

In the short-term, that means China will continue buying mostly from South America. Because the growing season is inverted in the southern hemisphere, that also means that China might have to turn to American suppliers again in a few months, once the Brazilian and Argentinian supplies from the spring growing season are exhausted. In the long term, China could invest in infrastructure to allow for greater production and reduced transportation costs, while continuing with ongoing efforts to reduce consumption of soybeans by livestock.

Whether all those changes work or make economic sense remains to be seen. But the damage done in 2018 to the relationship between the world's largest soybean producer and largest soybean consumer will not heal on its own—and American farmers will continue to pay the price for the White House's trade war.

Photo Credit: Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Echo Chamber||

    Good thing farmland isn't dedicated to only growing soybeans

  • Overt||

    Unfortunately, the tariffs were implemented after the planting season had begun. And it isn't easy just to convert to a new crop. Often times cultivation requires specific equipment.

  • IceTrey||

    But all the farmers equipment is.

  • Echo Chamber||

    Farmers decide each season how much of what crop to grow.
    Prices for a particular crop ebb / flow, and this influences corresponding planting decisions

  • ||

    But all the farmers equipment is.

    Not really.

    It certainly depends on the crops in question, but the switch from corn to beans to wheat can be done readily by even the smallest farms in less than a single growing season.

    Irish potato farmers learned a long time ago that it's dumb to base the entirety of agriculture on a single crop. Even if it wasn't learned then, it was relearned during the Dust Bowl.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    With modern machines, its cheaper and easier to have one large field of a mono-crop.

    Having multiple fields with different crops is just good risk management.

    While what you are saying can be true, it is not always true. Irish farmers tended their crops by hand and beast.

    The early 20th Century farmers depended on rain to water their crops, not integrated watering systems and modern fallow methods.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    It takes a lot of capital to grow a specific crop. Are you saying farmers should just take one for the team, even when the "team" is a basket of deplorables (Trumpistas)? Better ask them if they signed up for that bargain.

  • TuIpa||

    They signed up for the massive subsidies. There are no angels here.

  • sarcasmic||

    There are plenty of angles though.

  • TuIpa||

    Truth.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obtuse being the choice of some around here.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Tulpa,

    They signed up for the massive subsidies.


    You mean the totally unnecessary subsidies DJT promised would not be needed because trade wars are winnable?

  • TuIpa||

    No I mean the massive subsidies they have recieved for decades.

  • JFree||

    No it isn't. But like every year, they are going to decide between planting soy v corn next year - and because of the magic of markets, the price for both those crops next year will adjust down.

    The real problem is that domestically we have so distorted markets and populations and prices that much farmland is truly 'grain-dedicated'. Every farmer has the skills to switch from livestock/pasturing to grains to highervalue and back. But those are three very different land prices - eg in Iowa:
    HiQual cropland - $9000/acre (truckfarm type use would be higher but no veggie market is available)
    LowQual cropland - $4500/acre
    Pasture/Timber - $2500/acre

    So if farmers have mortgages on their land, they can lose the land to the bank (or hedge fund) if they have to move to the lower value use. This debt issue was actually the reason for the Dust Bowl. Land speculation in early/mid 1920's (linked with the stock market bubble and the Feds attempt to help UK stay on gold standard) drove prices in CO/KS/OK from 'pastureland' to 'cropland' bucket. Farmers there had to break the soil and plant crops - just in time for a long drought that then blew the soil away.

    The solution is to monetize commodities. But that is anathema (like silence whoever suggests that sort of stuff anathema) to the financial elites. 'Crop subsidies' is far cheaper for them - esp since much of those subsidies comes back to them anyway.

  • ||

    Did I miss the part where Trump banned soy shipments to China? I mean, with free trade, except Trump's stupid tariffs on imports, the Chinese commoners who so desires all this soy can still freely access it and is just choosing not to buy it, right?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: mad.casual,

    Did I miss the part where Trump banned soy shipments to China?


    Starting a trade war is a way of creating a de facto ban, even if very, very unwittingly, because DJT is witless. So are his Trumpista brethren.

  • sarcasmic||

    Trump didn't start the trade war! Anything except zero tariffs is a trade war! There was always a trade war! Trump raised tariffs to make China lower theirs! It's not his fault that they raised tariffs! It wasn't his intention! It can't be his fault! He has good intentions! Aaauuughhh!

  • TuIpa||

    Little too much Irish in your coffee today.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He's been like this for months.

    His liverfibrosis is affecting his brain.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Tulpa,

    Little too much Irish in your coffee today.


    Open that app you downloaded that says "Sarcam-o-meter" and then click "Yes" to "Do you want to give this app access to your photos and such?"

  • TuIpa||

    Jesus Christ you're fucking stupid.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Oh, and lay off the expressos while you're at it. You're getting too high-strung.

  • TuIpa||

    There's no x.

  • SQRLSY One||

    OK, here come the grade-school-level posts again...

    In days of old,
    When knights were bold,
    And toilets weren't invented,
    We stopped by the road,
    And dropped our load,
    And walked away contented!

    The days of old are over now... We have toilets now. Please be considerate of others, and drop your loads there, instead of a nice, clean, rational web site like Reason.com!

  • TuIpa||

    "OK, here come the grade-school-level posts again..."

    But enough about you and Old Mex.

  • Just Say'n||

    Remember when the same publication that is so offended by tariffs against China insisted on trade sanctions against Russia?

    I guess, I just don't take the concern of hypocrites real seriously. If Russia can be sanctioned for being a baddie, in what world would China not be sanctioned for the exact same reason?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Just Say'n,

    Remember when the same publication that is so offended by tariffs against China insisted on trade sanctions against Russia?


    Who insisted on trade sanctions against Russia?

  • Just Say'n||

    www.reason.com/archives/2017/0.....libertaria

    This was literally the cover article for the August 2017 issue.

    "Aside from a verbal commitment to liberal democracy and the rule of law, what can Western countries do to curb Russia's anti-liberal influence without risking military conflict? Economic sanctions—particularly when they target the Russian political elite and its properties abroad, as opposed to targeting ordinary Russian consumers—can be more effective than they are often believed to be. The desire to avoid further and harsher sanctions, for example, may have helped persuade the Putin regime to abandon its territorial ambitions in eastern Ukraine and to scale down its war in that region to a simmering conflict."

  • Just Say'n||

    Remember, just like Trump's sanctions against Iran, which are totally just going to effect the rulers of Iran, sanctions against Russia will totally not effect average Russians. And sanctions totally don't increase the possibility of war.

  • Just Say'n||

    Let's just call these tariffs sanctions for China's concentration camps of Muslims and its forced abortion policies. Or let's just pretend that the tariffs are actually sanctions for China's provocative actions towards its neighbor, Taiwan.

    Now everyone is OK with them, right?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Just Say'n,

    What the author of that article is arguing is that sanctions would be a better choice to achieve a political goal than going to war when it comes to a foreign government's acts of aggression against other countries. That's not the same as "insisting on trade sanctions against Russia".

  • Just Say'n||

    Who is talking about war, other than this article? The article supposes that war is a possibility in order to satisfy a conspiracy theory that lives in the minds of the perpetually butthurt. And then, as an alternative, to an imagined war that is yet to occur, the author pulls back and says "maybe sanctions are better".

    Could not someone make the exact same argument with regards to China? I love the carve outs that the totally free traders always seem to make. "Well this is different, because I said so"

  • ||

    Anything except zero tariffs is a trade war!

    Tariffs are a trade war but WFOE applications is just how China does business.

  • Overt||

    Nobody said that the soybeans were banned. They are more expensive, meaning that fewer people buy them in China, meaning that around 50% of the market for american growers is gone.

  • ||

    They are more expensive

    Because Trump made them more expensive, right?

    It's OK to be against Trump's tariffs and China at the same time, but you wouldn't know it from the article.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    No wonder, then, that soybean farmers aren't thrilled about the trade war—despite Trump's ham-handed attempt at buying their support by covering some of the losses.


    They'll have to change to another crop - despite all the capital expended - because it's their patriotic duty to sacrifice themselves for national pride.... or something.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The dark black they used for the 2018 track makes it look fake. Fake graph news.

  • Dillinger||

    it does.

  • sarcasmic||

    Reason just doesn't get it. There has been a hostile trade war since the nation was founded, because there have always been tariffs. Trump's raising tariffs didn't matter because tariffs were already there. But then the Chinese raised their tariffs totally out of the blue, for no reason at all except to be malicious. It had nothing to do with Trump's tariffs because Trump's tariffs were intended to cause China to lower theirs. China raising theirs wasn't Trump's fault because that wasn't the intention. So now our soybean farmers are suffering because of China's malice. They were supposed to end their tariffs in response to Trump. This means Trump should raise tariffs in retaliation, with the intention of causing China to end all of their tariffs. If China responds by raising tariffs it won't be Trump's fault because it's not his intention. This is all because of malicious Chinese tariffs, and has nothing to do with Trump.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And other trade restrictions. But yea.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Leaving up to your nick. I like it!

    What's hilarious is when Trumpistas think you're being serious.

  • Just Say'n||

    You need to seek help, in all honesty

  • TuIpa||

    No one thinks he's being serious, you're just too fucking stupid to see that.

  • IceTrey||

    It's ok he'll just give them some tax money.

  • TuIpa||

    ^this guy gets it

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    See, what's most important here is making the libs cry punishing China for their perfidy. Trump is doing this by applying half-assed tariffs that are designed to make Trump look like a fighter and a hero applying reasonable, sensible tariffs as a part of a complex negotiation strategy. After all, this is all about getting Trump re-elected making America great again!

  • Just Say'n||

    Remember when the same publication that is so offended by tariffs against China insisted on trade sanctions against Russia? Or is that different, radical collectivist?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ...And Saudi Arabia.

    We needed to go to war with Saudi Arabia over a Saudi national. Oh yea, that's still in the news.

    'Cause tariffs are worse than war.

  • Just Say'n||

    The Saudi Arabia thing upsets me more than the hypocrisy on trade here. The US provides arms to the Saudis to bomb and starve the people of Yemen and no one cares. But, suddenly, they kill a single reporter and it's a cause de celebre.

  • Juice||

    and no one cares

    Maybe not at this establishment, but Scott Horton and cohorts have been talking/bitching about that the whole time.

  • Just Say'n||

    Horton, Woods, Richman, etc.

    Yeah, they care, because they are legitimately anti-war

  • Ordinary Person||

    'Russia' wasn't sanctioned. They sanctioned the individuals who interfered in our election.

  • Just Say'n||

    I love this talking point. It's so smart in a way in which "smart" is a stand-in for "profoundly dumb".

    Also, sanctions against the Republican Guard in Iran totally didn't effect the companies that are owned by the Republican Guard that provide services to the average Iranian. Much in the same way that sanctions against Russian oligarchs did not effect the companies that are owned by the Russian oligarchs that provide services to the average Iranian.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Do you want to argue with "Reason" or do you want to argue with me?

    I have already stated what I think about sanctions. To wit: I'm not a big fan of them.

    Any more whataboutism?

  • Just Say'n||

    Every time your double talk is noted you always respond with "I've already stated". It's convenient.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I said I'm not a fan of sanctions. I'm not a fan of tariffs either. What more do you want? A contract signed in blood?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How about your position on other trade restrictions besides tariffs?

  • TuIpa||

    "Do you want to argue with "Reason" or do you want to argue with me?"

    Neither, I prefer honest arguments.

  • BotoxPorcupine||

    "part of a complex negotiation strategy"

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read. See below:

    "A 301 investigation, 301 for short, would give Lighthizer one year to determine whether the office of the US trade representative should open a formal investigation of China. If so, Trump would have the authority to impose tariffs, sanctions and other measures against China. The Europeans, Japanese and Canadians would join the US in a massive, coordinated effort against Chinese intellectual property violations.

    During an August 2017 meeting in the residence with his economic and trade teams, Trump balked. He had just talked to Chinese President Xi Jinping. He didn't want to target China. "We're going to need their help for North Korea," he said. "It's not just one UN Security Council vote. We'll need their help on an ongoing basis. I want to take all the references to China out of the speech." He did not want to jeopardize his great relations with President Xi.

    Rob Porter, former staff secretary and organizer of presidential paperwork, said the short two-page memo mentioned China five times, and only China. It was all about China as they had been discussing for months.

    "No, no, no," Trump said. "I don't want to make it China-specific. Let's just do it for the whole world."

  • Just Say'n||

    Remember, sanctions for violating American intellectual property rules are OK. And are most definitely not just rent-seeking.

    Think of poor Walt Disney. Why won't you think about the poor Walt Disney company?

  • BotoxPorcupine||

    Regardless of your opinion on intellectual IP rights, Donald Trump's "complex negotiation strategy" was to change his mind halfway through based on whatever he felt like that morning. He just up and decided that he'd rather cozy up to North Korea and wage a trade war with China and reversed course altogether.

    And that's pretty consistent with every single report everyone who has ever known Donald Trump has given.

    "Complex negotiation strategy." The dude had his own father purchase $3.5 million of poker chips and then throw them away so he could make a bond payment on a casino he eventually bankrupted. It's INSANE to believe he even knows the meaning of the word strategy. He's a trust fund baby who never worked a day in his life and has been leveraging his father's money to keep him afloat since he was born.

  • BotoxPorcupine||

    *international IP rights

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Oh come now. This is Trump engaging in 99th-dimensional underwater interstellar chess. You can't help but be struck with awe at the complex brilliance of it all!

  • Just Say'n||

    You might do better to address the points rather than engaging in straw men. I know that this requires you to think outside of talking points and this frightens you, but give it a try.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We all know that Chemjeff thinks that everything Trump does is random.

  • Just Say'n||

    Well, yeah, Trump changes his mind based upon the last person he talked with. That's pretty obvious at this point.

    Still doesn't change the fact that people who complain about tariffs against China for the *perceived* benefit of manufacturing are totally fine with tariffs against China for the *actual* benefit of big industry monopoly power through a rigged IPO legal framework.

    And that's why I call bullshit on the half-way free-traders. They are no less protectionist than Trump

  • Willy Visser||

    Live by government fiat, die by government fiat.

  • Just Say'n||

    *offer not valid for colleges or woke non-profits*

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama's pen and phone do not work anymore, so you see the Media's dilemma.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Wrong.

    Because of the tariffs Trump imposed on Chinese goods, China imposed tariffs on US goods including soybeans. Most Chinese citizens are vary poor compared to US citizens. It's not at all unlikely that the Chinese tariffs on US soybeans puts them out of reach for much of the Chinese population.

  • John||

    Soybeans are fungible. I seriously doubt the Chinese are going to starve their population to get back at the US. So if they don't buy the Soybeans from the US, they will buy it somewhere else. And if they buy it somewhere else, that will create greater demand for US soybeans from those sectors. The claim the author makes about how "demand from other sectors isn't guaranteed to make up for the loss of China" is a complete nonsequiter. Does the author not understand that soybeans are fungible?

    This is just embarassing.

  • John||

    This article is a giant exercise in non sequiters. What is the price of soybeans? This article never mentions that. Well, it is currently $8.69 a bushel. That is down from a 45 year high of $16.21 a bushel in 2012 but not really out of line with the historic trends. Also note that soybean prices have been trending down since 2014 long before Trump's TRADE WAR.

    http://www.macrotrends.net/253.....chart-data

    Beyond that, Reason lectures its readers daily about the evils of high commodity prices in things like steel and aluminum created by Trump's trade war. Okay. well if in fact these tarriffs are causing China to no longer be able to buy US soybeans and that is the reason why the price of soybeans has decreased, that would be a boon for soybean consumers in the US. No longer having to compete with China for soybeans, those consumers now get a break. So whatever money is lost by the famers is realized by the consumers in lower costs. In every other context, Reason seems to think cost to consumers is the Holy Grail of all economic policy. Why not here?

    Reason's writing on trade is just comical at this point. It is an exercise in knowing just enough about a subject to be dangerous and confirmation bias.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay. well if in fact these tarriffs are causing China to no longer be able to buy US soybeans and that is the reason why the price of soybeans has decreased, that would be a boon for soybean consumers in the US. No longer having to compete with China for soybeans, those consumers now get a break. So whatever money is lost by the famers is realized by the consumers in lower costs.

    Which is why autarky is such a successful economic strategy.

  • John||

    These tarriffs only harm Chinese consumers. As I explain below, you don't put tarriffs on things you can't produce yourself. If you want economics lessons, I am happy to give them to you. But you need to show me that you have some capability to learn if you want them.

  • John||

    And if you are going to use a word, try using it in the right context. This has nothing to do with autotarky. The harm done to Chinese consumers by this is an example of why autotarky doesn't work. They can't produce enough soybeans to feed their people. So, they have to import it. So, the tarriff accomplishes nothing except maybe raise the price of soybeans if getting it from other sources is more expensive.

    The US meanwhile produces a surplus of soybeans. So China deciding not to buy it just means at most US consumers get cheaper soybeans thanks to no longer having to compete with China to buy them. Autotarky fails because there are things you can't totally produce on your own. A commodity that the US produces a surplus of is not an example of why autotarky fails. Your using the word in that context is a complete nonsequiter.

    Again, I am happy to explain this stuff. But you have to be willing to listen and treat it as an academic subject and not a religion or an excuse to put out canned ideological talking points.

  • ||

    This article is a giant exercise in non sequiters.

    ^This^

    Even the USDA's own projections expect things to stay on track and only drop about 3%. If you look at the graph, you can see that May-July were higher than any other year displayed and continued into Sep. At best, the graph shows, not some catastrophic vanishing of a market, but a lag where shipping and logistics, not farmers growing soybeans, rekajiggers itself. It will be interesting to see if we're still exporting into Dec. and Jan.

  • Ben_||

    They'll just sell to others. Brazil can sell to China and the US can sell to Brazil's customers. It's a worldwide commodity market, not a market with one producer and one customer.

    Markets adjust. It's easy to understand when you aren't wearing idealogical blinders.

  • Just Say'n||

    The price of these commodities are determined on the global market of demand, but if you stop selling to one customer you still lose out

  • John||

    No you don't. That customer just buys it from someone else whose customers then have to buy it from you. That is how it works when a good is fungible. If were not fungible and there was something special about American soybeans that made them different from any other soybeans and that special something made them uniquely appealing to China, then maybe it would be different. But since one soybean is just like another, it doens't matter.

  • John||

    But even if what you say is true, the result is that the price of soybeans drops in the US and American consumers of soybeans benefit from no longer having to compete with the Chinese. So the whole thing is a wash. For every dollar lost by American soybean famrers, a dollar is gained by American soybean consumers because of lower costs.

    The only people harmed by this are Chinese consumers.

  • Just Say'n||

    "But even if what you say is true, the result is that the price of soybeans drops in the US and American consumers of soybeans benefit from no longer having to compete with the Chinese."

    You can't say that the price of soybeans is determined on the international market and then contend that not being able to sell to one customer will somehow reduce the price of that commodity for domestic consumers. There is a glaring fallacy there

  • John||

    You are right. And I am not. I am saying that even if it were true that this resulted in lower soybean prices, it would end up being a wash. The reality is that since soybeans are fungible, this doesn't mean anything.

  • Just Say'n||

    I think this action will definitely result in higher soybean prices. The problem is that American farmers will not benefit from these larger soybean prices. That's the issue. Price increased, but there are less consumers that you can sell to. I suppose it's possible that it could end in a wash (higher prices, compensating for tepid demand)

  • Just Say'n||

    But, then, of course, there will be higher prices for consumers so actually it would have to be a net loss all around.

  • John||

    I think this action will definitely result in higher soybean prices.

    That makes absolutely no sense. The Chinese are putting tarriffs on our soybeans. That isn't going to result in higher soybean prices for anyone except maybe the Chinese and probably not even them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think that is why mixing terms creates some confusion in total prices for difference national consumers.

    Tariffs increase the total price of soybeans for China, not American consumers.

  • John||

    It really is. China doing this is doing nothing but screwing their consumers. It would be like the US putting a tarriff on oil to punish Saudi Arabia. You put tarriffs on things that you can produce in sufficent amounts yourself. You don't put tarriffs on things that your domestic production can't meet the demand. The Chinese are just shooting themselves in the foot here. It actually is a great example of a stupid and counter productive tarriff. But since Trump lives rent free in the heads of the reason staff, they can't see that much less write about it. It must always and forever be about TRUMP!!

  • Juice||

    China doing this is doing nothing but screwing their consumers.

    I've been told this sort of thing is a brilliant bargaining tactic.

  • Just Say'n||

    HAZZAH!

  • John||

    All you guys have is snark on this subject. It is actually a very interesting topic. I have always found it fun to think through the various implications of economic policies. It is a shame you guys are too terrified and dogmatic to do that.

  • Just Say'n||

    Not at all. I enjoy the topic too. And I think there is plenty of hypocrisy on the subject to go around. But, as much as I give Reason and some commentators grief for being selective free traders, I also give grief to the protectionist impulses of Trump and his defenders.

    There is no such thing as a "free trader"

  • John||

    Reason is a horrible advocate for free trade. What infuriates me most about them is that they don't seem to understand the arguments for their own positions much less the counter arguments to those positions. There is a free trade angle to this story. But that angle is how idiotic and pointless this tariff is for China. this is a great example of a tarriff that likely will accomplish nothing and will only harm Chinese consumers if it does. Why reason can't make that argument and instead puts out a bunch of bullshit about it harming the American economy is beyond me.

  • ||

    Why reason can't make that argument and instead puts out a bunch of bullshit about it harming the American economy is beyond me.

    Are you kidding me? Pass up mindless virtue signalling about Trump in order to give a detailed and principled rebuking of tariffs, command economies, and China... is this not Reason Magazine?

  • John||

    Which part of "you put tarrifs on things that your domestic production can meet your domestic demand" do you not understand?

    Set the great trade rosary down and understand the not all goods or commodities are the same.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Definitely. Not all markets are the same either.

  • Juice||

    It's different when we do it!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The American market is different than the Chinese market.

    People want into the Chinese market but not for the same reasons nor the save vigor as they want into the US market.

    Trump's plan is to hurt foreign nations who want into US markets to get them to renegotiate trade agreements.

  • Juice||

    It's a worldwide commodity market, not a market with one producer and one customer.

    But it's the largest producer and the largest consumer, so you have to take that into account.

  • John||

    Not really. If they don't buy it from us, they will buy it from somewhere else and the customers from that somewhere else will have to look elsewhere.

  • Juice||

    And you don't think this will affect prices?

  • Ben_||

    There's a market price, not a lot of different market prices for different people. If there were different market prices that varied by differences much more than the cost of shipping, traders would capture that price difference.

  • Juice||

    And don't you think this market price would be affected by the largest consumer greatly decreasing their level of buying from the largest producer?

  • Ben_||

    Not much. Unless the largest consumer represents half the market. It's just noise and some inconvenient logistical refactoring.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    This thread may be too far down the page to get any more attention, but CNN, CNN! has an article on how the Chinese cannot gain via putting tariffs on American soybeans.

    CNN!

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