By Farmers Forum staff
Last year might go down in history as the year that became a verb.
“I’ve been 2019’d, ” was iterated in the way you might say “I was bushwhacked” and became a common expression for some growers as the year included a lot of weather curveballs and a lot of delays. While weather is a perennial story, 2019 was dominated by an escalating trade war between the world’s two super powers.
Canada became more deeply entangled in the U.S.-China trade war and some farmers and farm groups worried that China’s ban of Canadian farm products — such as beef, pork, canola and soybeans — would be the new normal.
The trade war started in March, 2018, when U.S. president Donald Trump announced tariffs on $50 billion on Chinese goods in retaliation for years of Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, flouting trade rules and bribery. The Chinese Communist Party responded with their own set of tariffs and the two countries went back and forth on more tariffs on more products. When China stopped accepting U.S. soybeans, soybean prices dropped. In response, the U.S. handed out $28 billion in aid to its farmers in 2018 and approved an additional $30 billion last year. The price drop also impacted Canadian farmers but there was no compensation from our federal government.
Early in 2019, China stopped accepting imports of Canadian canola and then stopped accepting Canadian soybeans, beef and pork in what China says were labelling issues but was widely believed to be retaliation for Canada’s house arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in December, 2018. The Canadian government held Meng as the U.S. has an extradition request for her to answer charges of breaching American sanctions against Iran. In response, China detained two Canadian businessmen, accusing them of gathering state secrets. Both men have not been to trial and have been in a Chinese prison for more than one year.
The trade war is a battle over how the world economy will be governed: By free markets and rule of law or under the dictates of the Chinese Communist Party. China’s goal is to rule the world economy by 2049 while boasting of having the world’s most powerful army.
Trade war fallout was top farm event of 2019
By Farmers Forum staff