ERS: Tariffs in retaliation to Trump tariffs cost $27 billion in lost ag exports

Tariffs imposed on U.S. agricultural products in retaliation for Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from major trading partners and, separately, Section 301 tariffs on a broad range of imports from China led to a $27 billion reduction in U.S. agricultural exports, the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service reported this month.

In response to the tariffs, six trading partners — Canada, China, the European Union, India, Mexico, and Turkey — responded with retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. agricultural exports, including agricultural and food products, ERS said.

A summary said, “From mid-2018 to the end of 2019, this study estimates that retaliatory tariffs caused a reduction of more than $27 billion (or annualized losses of $13.2 billion) in U.S. agricultural exports, with the largest decline in export losses occurring for exports to China. At the commodity level, soybeans accounted for the predominant share of total trade loss, making up nearly 71% ($9.4 billion of annualized losses) of the total, followed by sorghum (over 6% or $854 million in annualized losses), and pork (nearly 5% or $646 million in annualized losses).

“At the state level, losses were largely concentrated in the Midwest with Iowa ($1.46 billion in annualized losses), Illinois ($1.41 billion in annualized losses), and Kansas ($955 million in annualized losses), accounting for approximately 11%, 11%, and 7%, respectively, of the total losses.

“For soybeans, most of the trade lost by the United States was gained by Brazil. In 2020, U.S. agricultural exports to China significantly rebounded following the signing of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement and a separate retaliatory tariff waiver program; however, one year after the deal, U.S. market share still remained below pre-retaliatory tariff levels.”

–The Hagstrom Report

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