Unfortunately, with neither trade nor aid, almond farmers in California now stand to lose the most in this escalating trade war.
The sun is shining and the waters are flowing… Oh, hello! Didn’t see you there. I’m just roasting in the California sun. It’s been a good year for me and my family. In fact, our harvest this year might be the best ever on record at 2.45 billion pounds. The world depends on us to satiate its appetite, since our state provides over eight out of 10 almonds in the world.
An almond is roasting in the California sun.
But for my growers, this abundance may not be good news. That’s because President Donald Trump has started a trade war against China. In retaliation, China has enacted a 50-percent combined tax on me, my friend pistachio, and other classic California produce.
That’s too bad because Chinese consumers love me. I’m high in protein, but low in fat. Their middle class is growing, and they have a growing appetite for healthy living. It’s actually the top foreign destination for me, as a third of California’s almonds go there.
Making US almonds more expensive in China could turn consumers away from the Golden State, and look to Australia and Africa instead.
In June, my export to China dropped by almost a half from May, and my prices have dropped by 10 percent over the past two months.
Yes, things can always get worse, like for my fellow soybeans in the Midwest. Prices for soybeans took a hit of almost 20 percent since mid-May due to trade war concerns.
But Trump has announced that he will provide 12 billion (US dollars) in federal aid to these farmers of crops such as soybean, sorghum, wheat and corn, grown mostly in traditionally Republican states, even though these Midwestern farmers are not happy with the relief, wanting trade instead. At least they have aid, unlike me.
A 12-billion-US-dollar federal aid will be handed to farmers of crops such as soybean, sorghum, wheat and corn.
California’s 7,000 almond growers have actually been left out in the cold.
Though the traditionally blue state voted for the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, many of our state’s farmers supported Trump. Some of our top almond producing regions in the state are actually represented by Republicans.
But unfortunately, with neither trade nor aid, our state’s farmers now stand to lose the most in this escalating trade war.
Tell me, do you want all those fruits, nuts, and veggies to pile up and rot simply because President Trump is killing trade at the expense of the many?