Retaliatory Chinese Tariffs Tough on South Dakota Soybean Growers

July 11, 2018

President Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on $24 billion of Chinese goods took effect at midnight on July 6. Retaliatory tariffs imposed from the Chinese government mean major impacts for soybean growers across the state and the country. Over two thirds of South Dakota’s annual export crop is exported, primarily to Asia. U.S. soybeans represent 41 percent of the value of products on China’s tariff list. With China being the largest export market for U.S. soybeans, farmers who are already challenged with soft markets and low prices will see serious damage.

U.S. soybean growers have invested in relationships with Chinese buyers for nearly 60 years, having grown exports 26-fold in the last 10 years. The American Soybean Association and growers from South Dakota have been active in the conversations about tariffs, urging the U.S. to find a different solution to issues with China.

“One in every three rows of soybeans harvested in the U.S. goes to China,” says Kevin Scott, soybean grower from Valley Spring, South Dakota and secretary for the American Soybean Association. “Over the next decade, China is positioned to account for most of the growth in the global soybean market. These customers are incredibly important to U.S. soybean growers.”

According to a study conducted by Purdue University, soybean exports to China could drop dramatically due to the 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. The Purdue study projects that China’s soybean imports from the U.S. would fall by 65%, total U.S. soy exports would drop by 37%, and U.S. soybean production would decline by 15%.

More about SDSA

The South Dakota Soybean Association’s (SDSA) mission statement is to grow market opportunities and value for South Dakota soybean farmers through public policy and education. Because checkoff funds cannot be using for legislative activities, SDSA is the member-organization that represents soybean farmers on legislative policy issues. To learn more, visit

This blog post is brought to you by the South Dakota Soybean Association.