New Data Shows Impact of Trade War on Indiana Soybean Farmers and Pork Producers

Soybean exports to China from the Hoosier state have plummeted 34% so far this year while pork exports to Mexico that had been growing declined precipitously following tariff announcement

New data released as President Trump comes to Indianapolis to make his case to farmers at the National FFA Convention and Expo

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(Washington, D.C.) – New data released today shows that soybeans, the dominant Indiana farm export to China, have been hit hard by tariffs imposed this year. Data released by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the nationwide, nonpartisan campaign against tariffs also shows that Indiana pork exports to Mexico, which were growing compared to 2017 in the first four months of this year, have stalled out after new tariffs were imposed in June and July of this year. The data, which was compiled by The Trade Partnership from US Census Bureau and USDA data, was released as President Trump prepares to travel to Indiana to discuss his administration’s approach to U.S. agriculture. 

Indiana soybean farmer and Farmers for Free Trade spokesman Brent Bible, who farms 5000 acres of primarily soybeans and corn in Lafayette, Indiana voiced the same concerns as many Indiana farmers:

“I’m supportive of the Trump administration, but I have a lot of concerns about current actions that have been taken on trade and tariffs. The fact that China is our number one soybean customer makes Indiana very vulnerable. Our farm and many others like ours have already been the first casualties of a trade war.”

Indiana Soybeans to China 

The data released today shows a 34% year to date drop in soybean exports to China compared with last year. For the most recent monthly data in August 2018, soybeans saw an even more staggering 95% drop as compared to August 2017. The data is a major red flag for soybean exports as Indiana farmers await additional data for the key September to December export period.

Indiana Pork to Mexico

The data released today also shows how retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, which have come in response to the administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs, have stopped the growth of Indiana pork exports in its tracks. Indiana pork exports to Mexico had been nearly double in the first four months of 2018 ($18 million in Jan-Apr 2018 vs $9.3 million in Jan-Apr 2017). However, growth slowed to +24% year-over-year in May when new retaliatory tariff became a possibility, then fell precipitously to –3%, +3%, and –3% in June/July/August when tariffs actually went into place.

“This data is the clearest sign yet of the hit Indiana farmers have taken and is a warning about the even greater threat on the horizon,” said Brian Kuehl, a spokesman for Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “There is no guarantee that what’s lost today because of this trade war is coming back anytime soon. What is Indiana’s loss is Brazil, and Canada, and Russia’s gain.”

To receive more detailed information on the data released today contact