Colorado’s farmers and ranchers on edge as U.S. and China try to stave off a trade war
Cattle prices have already fallen
The Denver Post
China is proposing penalties that would punch America square in its breadbasket following U.S. threats of tariffs on $50 billion worth of its goods. And that posturing has put Colorado’s farmers and ranchers on edge.
“I can tell you it makes the U.S. farmer and rancher nervous when we have our president talking about limiting our access to world markets,” said Marc Arnusch, owner and operator of Marc Arnusch Farms, which raises corn, wheat and other crops in Prospect Valley.
China has threatened a 25 percent tariff on pork. Soybeans, the top crop the U.S. sends to China, also is vulnerable, as is sorghum, a grain raised for export that is well-suited to Colorado’s drier climate.
Even if Colorado producers don’t export their crops, reduced access will only further depress prices in a market struggling with excess supply, Arnusch said.
James Henderson, owner of the 7-11 Ranch near La Jara in the San Luis Valley, said the verbal exchanges about trade penalties hurt his prospects by driving down cattle futures 10 percent last week.
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While China needed to be effectively confronted over its trade policies toward the U.S., the way the Trump Administration did it was antiquated, counter-productive and overly negative.