As President Donald Trump maintains protectionist policies with global trading partners, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would supply soybeans and poultry meat to China, reports Reuters.
While speaking at the Russia Calling annual investment forum, Putin also said that the U.S. had effectively given up on that market.
The trade war has also led to an increase in the number of farms in the Midwest struggling to stay afloat.
At least 84 farm operations in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and parts of northwestern Wisconsin filed for bankruptcy in the 12 months that ended in June, according to a new analysis from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, more than twice the level seen over the same period in 2014.
Business Insider reports:
The strain of low commodity prices on farmers and ranchers has been compounded by tariffs, Ron Wirtz, the regional director for the central bank, said in the report. Trump has placed tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of US imports to date and threatened escalation on multiple fronts.
As countries retaliate with duties on American goods, key commodity prices have fallen sharply. Soybeans, for example, have shed nearly a fifth of their value since April. The New York Times reported this month that exports of the legume to China fell 94% through mid-October from a year earlier.
Farming margins have been “squeezed for some time, so the tariffs are certainly just more problems on top of a list of continuing problems,” said Kevin McNew, the chief economist at Farmers Business Network.
McNew said noted that states where bankruptcies are on the rise are especially vulnerable to trade tensions with China.
While growers elsewhere in the country have other foreign markets to turn to, the upper Midwest is highly dependent on soybean trade with China.