Jay Rempe, senior economist at the Nebraska Farm Bureau, says Nebraska ag producers stand to lose a lot from any retaliation, especially from South Korea, China and Japan.
“Those are three of the top five markets, besides Canada and Mexico, for Nebraska ag exports,” Rempe says. “Our fear is that those countries will retaliate in some shape or fashion and often it’s ag that’s the target and we’re going to get caught in the crossfire on this.”
Rempe says even with Canada and Mexico being exempt from the tariffs, Nebraska risks more than 3-point-7 billion dollars in agricultural exports — or 58% of Nebraska’s total exports.
“The two commodities that we’re most concerned about are beef, because South Korea and Japan are our top markets for U.S. beef, but then also soybeans,” Rempe says. “China is just a huge buyer of soybeans. Nearly 50% of our soybean crop is exported.”
Rempe says Nebraska exports overall are worth six-point-six billion dollars. Besides the hit on exports, he says Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers will also be subject to what amounts to a tax, with consumers feeling the pinch as well.
“Any farm equipment’s got steel in it, grain buildings, anything like that, the price is likely going to go up,” Rempe says. “And consumers in general. Anything we purchase, cars, appliances, anything in an aluminum can, those are likely going to go up in price, too.”
The top six markets for Nebraska agricultural exports in 2016 were Mexico, Canada, Japan, the European Union, China and South Korea.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton