Thursday, April 19, 2018

China slaps 179 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum imports

Statista graph; click on the image to enlarge it.
In the latest salvo in a trade war with the U.S., China announced Tuesday that it will impose a 179 percent tariff on American sorghum, accusing the U.S. of dumping the subsidized crop on Chinese markets, Daniel Shane reports for CNN. China began investigating sorghum imports in February as a warning shot to President Trump about his new steel and aluminum tariffs. The Chinese Commerce Ministry said its ruling is preliminary and that the sorghum tariffs are temporary. China had already announced 25 percent tariffs on U.S. sorghum imports earlier this month, but has not announced when those tariffs will be enforced.

China is America's biggest customer for exported sorghum, importing about $960 million in 2017. The lion's share is grown in Kansas, with Texas following a distant second. Used for livestock feed and in making baiju, a liquor popular in China, the grain thrives in arid pasturelands where wheat does well. "Squeezing the sorghum trade could also hurt America's rural economy -- particularly in states like Kansas -- where President Donald Trump has a lot of support," Shane reports.

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