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Maura Bennett Colorado Producers Waiting for Details on Tariff Relief
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: April 26, 2018

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Colorado farmers and ranchers nervous over the deep tariffs threatened by China are waiting to hear what the Trump Administration has in mind to protect them.

Don Shawcroft, president of the Colorado Farm Bureau has said just the threat of penalties "would stunt markets here in Colorado for many of our producers." "Commodity prices, already soft due to oversupply, will be pushed ever lower," "These tariffs will hit our producers particularly hard."

The administration has said if Chinese tariffs do hurt their bottom line, it will make it up to them but so far there’s no details on how.

“I’m not sure it’s prudent to lay out the gamebook for others.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue says one of the challenges is to calculate how much damage may occur and how much of it would be directly linked to China’s actions.

He added that he hopes the special programs for US ag producers will not need to be implemented and that China may still negotiate better trade deals.

Colorado currently exports about 6 percent of its food and agriculture products to China, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "Colorado produces a lot of feed for pork and these kinds of secondary markets will also be hit hard. The long-term impact on agriculture is bigger than on one specific commodity.While most of that comes in the form of beef products not yet targeted by China, the state's exports of sorghum are significant. Though exports to China are less than to countries like Mexico and Canada, the risk of losing future product markets or slowing the growth of those markets is a concern.

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