CRI在线收听:China-US trade disputes only temporary difficulties: expert


In the aftermath of the Trump Administration announcing potential tariffs on various Chinese products, as well as potential investment restrictions, China swung back in the first salvo of what some are suggesting is the start of a potentially damaging trade war.

Among the potential first casualties on the US side are soybean producers.

Since launching imports of US soybeans in 1995, China is now the United States number-1 market for the commodity, which is used as both livestock feed and as the main ingredient in tofu, a staple in the Chinese diet.

Last year, 62% of all US soybean exports found their way to China.

As such, the potential impact of a 25% tariff on soybean exports to China has the US soybean lobby worried.

Zhang Xiaoping is the China Country Director of the US Soybean Export Council.

"For China, China started importing soybean since 1995 and 1996. That's the beginning year. First is in the form of soybean meal. Soybean meal is the most cost-effective protein meal – vegetable protein for animals. So I should say China's demand for soybeans is mostly driven by its demand for soybean meal."

Over the past couple of decades, soybean production has become a major part of the US agriculture sector, surpassing corn last year as the largest cash crop in the United States. 

Zhang Xiaoping notes the US is now only behind Brazil as the world's second largest soybean exporter.

"For the main destinations of US soy... you know US (soybean) industry exports like 60% of its production, in the forms of whole beans, soybean meal and soybean oil, out of that about like 85% are export of soybeans, like a 15% is soybean meal and very little of soybean oil. So in terms of soybean export, China is the number one customer. You know China's share in the total soybean export is like 62% last year."

Citing a study from Purdue University, Zhang Xiaoping says if Chinese authorities do impose a 25% tariff on US soybean imports, many US farmers are going to feel the pinch.

"You know currently the US soybean farmers, their margin is pretty pretty thin. And some farms are even at the edge of bankruptcy. So if there's this kind of 25% tariffs and further declining in the prices. The farmers cannot afford by continuing their farming practices. So some will go out of business. So this is really… the so-called devastating effect."

Headquartered in Missouri, US Soybean Export Council is the main lobby group for soybean producers in the US, conducting international marketing programs for U.S. soybean producers, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses and agricultural organizations.

Since the establishment of its office in Beijing in 1982, the US Soybean Export Council has been working closely with the Chinese agriculture sector.

While concerned about the potential impact of possible Chinese tariffs in the near term, Zhang Xiaoping says they still believe China and the US will eventually weather the current storm. 

"I personally think this is something temporary. The overall China-US relations will be improving, will be stronger – the relations, the ties will be stronger. So I should say currently these are temporary difficulties we are now facing. It will be gone."

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: