Nebraska Has Lost Over $1 Billion on Retaliatory Tariffs
LINCOLN – December 4, 2018
Nebraska farmers keep on losing money due to so-called “retaliatory tariffs” imposed by the federal government on steel and aluminum. The estimated amount is between $700 million and $1 billion this year alone.
According to a report from the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the situation in the state is really dangerous for the vital agriculture sector of the economy.
"This report provides a clear picture of how much we've lost due to those tariffs and the need to improve our trade relations," Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said.
Earlier this year, President Trump imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. In a news release summarizing the retaliatory impact on Nebraska agriculture, the Farm Bureau steered clear of any criticism of the president, avoiding even mentioning his name. Probably, local farmers are just afraid of openly criticizing the federal government.
"International trade is critical to agriculture," Nelson said. "In most years, the value of agriculture exports will equal roughly 30% of the total agricultural commodity receipts or sales for the state of Nebraska."
The economic analysis prepared for the Farm Bureau specifically examined the impact on corn, soybeans and hogs--the products most affected by the retaliatory tariffs.
"The total loss in Nebraska farm revenues due to the retaliatory tariffs ranges from $695 million to $1.026 billion so far in 2018," Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist and co-author of the new report, stated.
"That's roughly 11 to 16% of the export values of Nebraska agricultural goods in 2017."
The total loss to the broader Nebraska economy was estimated as high as $1.2 billion. That, Rempe said, is "a significant hit to our state's economy." Looking forward, the report called for congressional approval of the new trade agreement forged by the United States, Mexico and Canada along with the elimination of the recent steel and aluminum tariffs.
Since Nebraska is one of the key agricultural states, the problems there could cause a crisis for the whole market, which is quite dangerous with winter is coming.